Second Horse Meat Scandal Rocks France

December 16, 2013

1 Min Read
Second Horse Meat Scandal Rocks France

MARSEILLE, FranceTwenty one people in southern France have been arrested for their alleged involvement in a fraud in which horses used for medical research were sold for food.

Sanofi, the pharmaceutical company, used the horses to incubate antibodies to make serums for things like rabies and snake bites, a spokesman for the company told Reuters. The horses were in good health but were not certified for human consumption, he said.

Butchers, veterinarians and other workers in the meat industry were arrested, according to The Guardian. Reuters cited radio stations that noted the horses were sold to traders who were suspected of falsifying veterinary documents so the animals could be used in the food chain.

"The horses are all micro-chipped for tracability and they do not present any danger in the event of human consumption," a spokesman for Sanofi told AFP.

The company said it had sold roughly 200 horses in the last three years, generally to veterinary colleges, individuals or horse centers, AFP reported.

The BBC said there is no suggestion at this time that the horsemeat was passed off as beef, unlike another scandal that rocked Europe earlier this year and led to arrests. 

In September, as reported by The Wall Street Journal and other media, authorities in France arrested eight managers of Spanghero, which has been accused of selling horse meat that was mislabeled as beef in a scandal that spread across Europe. The scandal came to light early this year after health officials discovered horse meat labeled as beef in Ireland.

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