It’s not just because they’re pretty. Their meat poses serious health risks.
Vickery Eckhoff in Newsweek.
“One would have to eat 500 horse burgers every day in order to run a risk,” Le Foll stated. He borrowed the line from U.K. Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, who used it just weeks ago to downplay the hazards of eating horse meat adulterated with phenylbutazone during what has turned out to be a massive international food scandal with people in the U.K. being unwittingly subjected to equine flesh.
Otherwise known as “bute,” the drug is a potent equine painkiller that’s prohibited in horse meat produced by EU trading partners, including the U.S., where 95-100 percent of horses are estimated to be “buted.”Although European government ministers claim that the horse-meat debacle is nothing more than a labeling issue, bute poses serious health hazards, according to a growing list of veterinarians as well as the authors of “Association of Phenylbutazone Usage With Horses Bought for Slaughter: A Public-Health Risk.
The study also demonstrates that children are at increased risk of developing aplastic anemia from minute levels of bute and oxyphenbutazone in horse meat, presumably because their bones are still growing. But even very low levels of bute can result in a hypersensitivity reaction in susceptible adults that’s mostly fatal. All of these effects are considered to be idiosyncratic, meaning it is unknown who will be afflicted…(CONTINUED)
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- Vickery Eckhoff: Five Reasons Why Burger King’s Horse Meat Scandal Could Happen Here (huffingtonpost.com)
- Taco Bell in Britain finds horse meat in ground beef (horsetalk.co.nz)
- UK: 3 men arrested in horsemeat scandal (newsobserver.com)
- What is the veterinary drug phenylbutazone or ‘bute’? (itv.com)
- Horsemeat with banned drug entered French food chain (worldbulletin.net)