Horse News

How Safe Is That Horse Meat?

Vickery Eckhoff, Contributor as posted on Forbes

Americans don’t eat horsemeat, so its health hazards have long been confined to export markets

Phenylbutazone, a human carcinogen, is prevalent in U.S. horse meat, along with numerous other drugs banned by the FDA in food animals. (photo: Animal Rescue Unit)

Horse meat is often described as tender, lean, slightly sweet to the taste, and somewhere between grass-fed beef and really good elk or venison in taste. It is prized by mothers as baby food in places like Italy and Japan, and especially sought after by athletes as a lean, high-protein, red meat perfect for building body condition.”

So proclaims Sue Wallis, chairman of the International Equine Business Association and CEO of Unified Equine, whose plans to open a slaughter plant in Rockville, MO, feature heavy promotion of horse meat as “safe, nutritious and delicious” (including  a Facebook horse meat recipe page)—all while sidestepping one of horse meat’s less appetizing virtues as a foodie experience: Cancer.

Click (HERE) to read the article in it’s entirety and to Comment

13 replies »

  1. Why has the USDA/FDA not jumped on Sue for the statements “that horse meat is safe”, when it is full of medications (Bute) banned in any concentration in all food producing animals? They jump on others for false statements.


    • Tom:

      They don’t jump on her, and the dumpers/KBs for that matter because of the wording of regs and laws, to include trade treaties. They like it that way. Plus, because of the wording….they don’t have to properly test because it is a process requiring POST mortem, costly and time consuming (delays product delivery) tests….the product is long gone.

      H*LL, they don’t even enforce transport and auction/holding welfare laws WITH specific wording.


      • NO…she is promoting to the lawmakers, regulators and media….the vast majority of Americans will refuse to eat it unless starving. And they are getting riled up about traditional foodstuffs as we speak.


  2. Grass fed beef, pork and poultry is INSPECTED properly, albeit poorly…US equine flesh is not.

    As to the venison from elk, deer etc….eat at your own risk. They however are not routinely exposed to the myriad of drugs and prophylaxis that livestock and equines (wild and domestic) are. They (deer, elk) are HOWEVER exposed to polluted waters and soils and diseases. Why? DOI and state wildlife agencies scorched earth public lands’ policy.

    Anyone know about the factory poultry farm processing called chlorine bath disinfecting (ice bath versus chill lockers)? It’s just charming.


    • These are some of the reasons I raise more and more of my own food, as beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, honey. No chemicals and the cattle are completely grass fed.


      • Yes, Tom….more and more folks are going to have to do their own thing if they care about anything entering their gut, much less animal welfare. Folks in the cities are going to have to start their own cooperatives with reputable, small producers. This is already happening with produce and food deserts tagged lower income inner city residents.


  3. Hi, would some of you like to offer some of these great comments in the commenting section of the Forbes article?’s audience would really benefit from the discussion. Let’s make this an ongoing conversation over there. The more comments, the longer the article will stay on the page. Thanks so much!


    • I would love to, but the comment login is prejudicial and not user friendly (short version). I suspect lobbyists love it and brain dead US humans could care less. It is sad that they don’t realize this is a micro problem causing the macro problem of US government.

      Thank you for your tireless work. I’ll try to figure out how to logon to comment with some dignity and privacy.


      • Thanks, Denise. I’ve heard of some people having difficulty with it. Please try again as they usually succeed. And if you don’t mind, please hit the “follow” button (to follow me). This tells that lots of people like me, and when that happens, they keep the material on the page longer. Also, you can sign up for alerts. Objective is to keep the material in the public view longer. More followers, more shares, more comments do the trick!


  4. Vickery, I just did read your article. EXCELLENT, as always and THANK YOU!
    For those of us who are on the Wild Horse and Burros battle front, it’s two fronts at the same time….not hard to connect the dots. I did call and fax the key people on Congressman Moran’s amendment. I, too, have gotten tangled up in that password jungle when I try to sign in to comment. There’s something about those sign up boxes….sometimes they are very contrary.

    Meanwhile, BLM has been very busy wiping out the last of America’s Wild Burros in the Mojave Desert, and stampeding Mares and Foals in Nevada, so….the beast has had to be battled at both ends.
    HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Earlier in the week a photo journalist and an observer were arrested and held by the federal Bureau of Land Management security at a Yuma County, Arizona wild burro “gather” on which the videographer was taken to the hospital suffering heat prostration. The man had been held in a pick-up truck with the air conditioning running and the windows down in dry desert heat.
    “To arrest a senior citizen who was not disruptive of operations or causing a “true” safety concern, is a pretty tough call,” said Reno, Nevada attorney Gordon Cowan. “To lock arrestees in vehicles in the heat of the Arizona desert, causing them to pass out and need medical attention is abusive and actionable.”


  5. In addition to cancer, seizures are a known side effect attributed to BUTTE. What an irresponsible dirtball mother of children to market to America the ill-effects of eating a treasured respected animal, the horse, with the threat of cancer and seizures. It’s shameful we backdoor the horse to Europe to this very day. If people around the world choose to eat the horse then they should eat they’re own supply.


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