Equine Rescue

Veterinary Drug Bute found in Asda Corned Beef

Source: of the UK’s The Guardian

Supermarket withdraws 340g tins of Smart Price Corned Beef after discovery of phenylbutazone
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Supermarket chain Asda said on Tuesday that it was recalling its range of budget corned beef after low levels of the veterinary pain killer phenylbutazone – known as bute – were detected.

The Food Standards Agency said the retailer had confirmed that the drug was detected in 340g tins of Asda Smart Price Corned Beef that had previously been found to contain traces of horsemeat.

The discovery is the first confirmation that products containing the drug have been sold in the UK after concerns were raised in the wake of the horsemeat scandal. Previously, eight horse carcasses slaughtered in the UK for consumption tested positive for bute, but the meat was exported.

Bute is banned from the human food chain as it could pose a health risk. But the FSA said the risk to people who had eaten products containing contaminated horse meat was low.

Asda said the affected product, which had been withdrawn from sale in March when the horsemeat was detected, contained “very low levels of bute”, registering four parts per billion. It urged customers to return tins to their nearest store: “Although there is a very low health risk, we are recalling this product. This simply means that we ask anyone who has tinned Smart Price Corned Beef (340g) in their cupboards at home to bring it back into store for a full refund.”

The retailer said it was also withdrawing 340g tins of its Chosen By You corned beef as a precaution as they were made in the same factory as the contaminated products.

“We want you to have complete confidence in the food you buy at Asda and we are happy to refund any product you’re not 100% happy with,” it said. The FSA said no other Asda products were thought to be affected.

Asda claimed to have taken “an extremely cautious approach since the very beginning” and had carried out more than 700 tests, “moving swiftly to remove any products” when they had any concerns. “The FSA has reassured us that the quantities we’ve found pose a low risk to human health.”

The FSA‘s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, said the levels of contamination would be too low to have any significant impact on anyone who had consumed the affected meat. “Phenylbutazone, known as bute, is a commonly used medicine in horses. It is also prescribed to some patients who are suffering from a severe form of arthritis,” she said.

The levels of bute previously found in horse carcasses meant a person would have to eat up to 600 burgers, containing 100% horsemeat, every day to come close to consuming a human’s daily dose of the drug, she said.”In patients who have been taking phenylbutazone as a medicine, there can be serious side effects but these are rare. It is extremely unlikely that anyone who has eaten horsemeat containing bute will experience one of these side effects.”

Horse carcasses in the UK are required to have a negative bute test before they can enter the food chain but the Guardian discovered in February that two carcasses which tested positive for bute in 2012 were not reported to the FSA for up to seven months.

Asda’s announcement came as a new study revealed that the government appeared to have averted a crisis of confidence in the meat industry by telling consumers the horsemeat scandal posed no health risk. A poll of more than 8,000 people found that few people were changing their shopping habits because of the scandal.

31 replies »

  1. YIKES!!!! This makes one fearful of eating any beef products!! The lies of the folks who
    slaughter our horses, are catching up with them. The puiblic should be aware of the
    threat to our health and of the painful, cruel, mistreatment of our horses, who are slaughtered for human consumption!!


    • If the British Food Standard Agency states that the horsemeat scandal poses no health risk to consumers, why is Princess Kate Middleton not eating any meat during her pregnancy? She is very smart in protecting her baby, so I appaud her, but I think it is strange their bureaucracy is protecting the meat mafia by lying to the public.

      Here cancer causing residues from pesticides in GMO feed passes through traditional “food” animals to humans and are stored in our tissues and this is allowed. But many of these practices are banned in Europe. Excessive antibiotics to combat the filthy conditions in feed lots and battery cages, plus abnormal growth hormones, comprise most of the factory farmed meat Americans eat – but these substances are also banned in Europe and Canada. Therefore her reaction was not a blanket condemnation of European meat in general, but specifically the adulterated beef co-mingled with tainted horse flesh.

      In this country pregnant women are advised by their doctors to avoid fish during pregnancy because the high levels of mercury from our polluted waters can damage a developing fetuses’ brain. I wonder if Kate’s Dr advised against eating meat because of the damage bute and the other veterinary substances given horses could do to her developing baby.

      It seems that what is just fine for commoners is not OK for royals.


  2. This is a joke of an article, sort of like hiding the pea under the cup slight of hand.

    Now we understand the feed the poor mantra – LOL – it wasn’t a plan – it was ALREADY happening. Got to love the calculations made to eat a dangerous dose. FDA has made it clear – it is not allopwed in any quantity. How do these food safety labs now calculate how much it would take to be dangerous. I’m sort of going to hang with FDA. After all, falling off a cliff is never a risk to take by criteria, such as if there is a ledge 50 feet down or a tree root handy to grab on. My food safety guideline is pretty clear – eat food that is safe not a degree of safe. Bastards.

    And where in this article is the issue of horsemeat substituted for corned beef discussed? More manipulation.


  3. PLUNK! In trashcan went MY can of corned beef hash! (different Brand, of course, sold in USA & “distributed” in Ohio; n0 clue where it’s MADE?) But I CANNOT imagine EAting it again, nonetheless…. {couldn’t even Donate it n0r feed to my Dog!} 😦


    • No surprise……………this is just the begining of more food tainted with bute from horsemeat.
      I am convinced horsemeat is already here in the US….Have you ever seen Taco Bell’s hamburger?



      • At the grocery store beef products are at this time are high. How would Taco Bell be able to sell their so call “beef hamburger” for $1.00. Where has the slaugther horse meat from Mexican gone to? They have to sell it to some food company. At all the fast food restaurants their meals are pretty inexpensive so what are they actually feeding the general public. I know that they use old diary cows in their cheap burgers but there is a possibility of horse meat mixed with beef.


      • Patty I totally agree and haven’t eaten there in ages, but last time I had a taco I looked at the
        meat and said what is this???? Didn’t look right then….long before the horse meat scandal..

        I refuse to eat any more of anything that could be filled with horse meat….

        They’ll wish I hadn’t eaten at their restaurant if I ever even think it’s horse….


  4. Its been very clearly established that toxins in food and environment have a synergistic effect on each other by which the effect of two or more together is worse than the sum of each individually. With this in mind (which scientists know all about yet curiously choose to keep out of mind), their calcs of ‘dangerous levels’ are patently absurd.
    I hope to see this pointed out much more often as advocates sieze on this well-documented effect and add it to the debate on the safety of eating tainted horse-meat.


  5. Public Statement. Every one of our 44 rescue horses are treated with BUTE. Fortunately non will ever be slaughtered but I think consumers will be better served if every horse gets a dose. People aren’t willing to play Russian Roulette with their health and will demand horses be kept out of their food.


    • I am hearing people are looking for private cattle ranchers they can trust to buy their beef
      who already have a well known reputation instead of suppliers in the stores……

      You cannot trust where the suppliers are getting their meat filled products?


  6. There is another article from BBC news titled ” Horsemeat scandal: Dutch uncover large-scale meat fraud. Some 50,000 tonnes of horsemeat supplied by two Dutch trading companies and sold as beef across Europe since January 2011 may have contained horsemeat. It has been recalled.

    No one seems able to track where the meat actually came from. I have a good idea that it came from Canada/Mexico since horsemeat from Canada is considered cheap. This is why the amount of horses from the US going to slaughter has been going up and up while the consumer buying horsemeat in the EU has went down. So where is the meat going? As a filler in the beef. I think this has been going on for years not just since 2011. They can’t hide it anymore with DNA testing going on. That needs to be a federal law in the US

    I also got a update from GovTrack. there is 21 more cosponsors for H.R. 1094 so it is picking up speed as far as politicians signing on.


  7. I have some more info I just got from Equine Welfare Alliance. It looks like Secretary Vilsack has added language to the Fy14 budget submission to defund horse inspections. It went on to say that it does not impact the current budget it is a clear indication that the USDA recognizes the dangers to our food supply and exports into a foreign food supply if horse slaughter was to resume in the US.


  8. R&Z and Robyn beat me to it…..YAHOOOOO!!!!!!

    More mud AND FACT thrown at the meat industry.

    I saw this very early this morning on the East Coast news and hoping RT would post it.

    More ammunition against the meaters, horsemeaters and the scum that peddle dirty meat (that includes the governments that allow it).


  9. I would bet the frozen foods and many types of sausages and potted meat will have horse meat and is already on the shelves here. What a nice inspiration for vegetarianism.


  10. “A poll of more than 8,000 people found that few people were changing their shopping habits because of the scandal.”

    So … it’s not a health issue for lots of consumers. And it’s certainly not a compassion issue for these same people (or they wouldn’t be buying animal carcasses* in the first place). Nor is it an environmental issue, because apparently no one knows, or cares, about the effects of livestock-produced methane gas on the climate.

    Would the price of carcasses have to skyrocket for folks to begin “changing their shopping habits”? Does economics really trump the prospect of illness and both ethical and ecological concerns in the minds of John Q. and Jane D. Public?

    *Since horse advocates dislike “slaughter” being euphemistically described as “euthanasia,” I figure no one here will mind if I use “carcass” in place of the euphemism “meat.”


  11. So the fact is the reason they were in such a pushpush rushrush in the US, they had some knowledge of the horse meat scandal. I mean lets look at the facts, they have been finding horse meat in the European market hidden since as far back as meats in 2011…so they have been running this sham for awhile, probably testing to see what they can get by with. There are also other signs I mean take for instance in the picture of Dave Duquette eating meat with the Peta sign on his hate~he’s pro-slaughter, but he’s actually eating a turkey leg, not a side of beef…hmmmm makes you wonder….and the canteens were being banged on the table, pounding drums in the background chanting our eco-system is being ruined by the wild horses, and the slow build up to denial of drugs in horse meat by saying nothing, and the coaching is paying off if you read this article its down to 1 part be bazillion of bute and you no longer have to eat 500 bute burgers its up to 600 bute burgers minimizing your risks…..whatever, this is ALL propaganda. They have always known that this disguised meat was going overseas, and do you know what the situation really hinges on, when the economy went bad sure the horse owners suffered, but the killer buyers and others were used to richer paychecks and being superior to horse “owners” I mean they can buy and sell us over and over again, and we have to figure out how to pay for each one while they buy and sell head over hoof, and when their rein of terror was closing and their extra or maybe main cash source shriveled up, they were scratching at the barn doors. Then the newcomers, who from blantant lies, and hidden intentions, came onto the pro=slaughter scene, they made the Europeans meat scandal into a outright mockery, how dare them! Just because the Europeans occasionally consume horses doesn’t mean they want herds of them in the grocers stands, its like force feeding it to them. I recently argued with someone who said the wild horses were destroying our entire eco-system. What seems interesting about that argument, is the cattle are the ones who require more and more leased land because the cattles sheer weight for beef weight kills off the grasses and it takes time to grow back, horses stomp out little paths, I have had herds of each for years, and the horses stomp a path like deer, but cattle do not, they have complete bare sections of land where they gather, so I presented this fact and got the whole if we keep the hooved locusts we will destroy the world, it would be as bad a nuclear war, do u want a nuclear war? I referred this pro-slaughter dunce to a link to the Korean war issue, the response I received was simple. The pro-slaughter response was-and I quote exactly as was written. “Really? Korea’s going to war, I had no idea….” . (So there you have it folks, why we are in this mess to begin with.


    • Wild horses are destroying the environment????? Your “friend” is pretty ignorant. Tell him/her that 521,000 mis of U.S. forest – the size of Texas, California, and Oregon combined – have been cleared to graze livestock and the grain to feed them, with 6,000 sq mis added each year (John Robbins “Diet for a New America” pp.360-361); animal “agriculture” takes up 70% of land worldwide and is the main cause of slashing and burning of the world’s forests, releasing all that carbon dioxide (Kathy Freston “Quantum Wellness” p. 115); also, animal ag also accounts for 37% of the methane gas – from all that POOP – and 65% of our nitrous oxide (ibid). Those are Greenhouse Gasses!!! Auto emissions do not even cause the level of pollution that feed lots cause to the air, plus animal waste provides the extra “gifts” of directly fouling our groundwater and soil.

      In the U.S. alone, 83% of ag land is used for pasture land or to grow crops to feed animals that will be slaughtered (ibid). Plus 80% of the grains grown in this country go to feed these animals. That is food that really could go to feed the starving, but we get 1 lb of meat for every 16 lbs of grain protein fed (Will Tuttle “World Peace Diet”) – a tremendous reduction of the food supply!

      Vegetarians save on average 21 animals per year, and vegans save 32 (no dairy, so less calves slaughtered – ibid).

      Does your friend have a library card or is he/she just part of the zombie “meat addicted” nation?


  12. Love all the comments. I too got an email from Chris Hyde from the Animal Welfare League. It was excellent news regarding the language in the Appropriations bill. Howver, that is not good enough for me now. We must see that the SAFE bill is passed once and for all. The bills regarding slaughter and transportation were almost passed several years ago. But missed the time frame. We are now seeing the effects of no bills passed. After Cavel, Intl closed, I didn’t think I would see another slaughter house open. To all the Nay Sayers, your time is coming..gets some education because you probably will be out of a job. I couldn’t believe the comment about the burgers..How do they know…have they consumed the dirty contaminated meat? It appears that RT’s “Horse Warriors” are making a real impact…finally..It has always been about the welfare of the horse and nothing else..Now we just have to get the protection back for our Wild Horses and Burros. Perhaps somehow we could get a packaged deal..In light of what is going on, we must be ready and plan for the day that American horses and equines never leave US borders..and that day is surely coming..We had somewhat of a dress rehersal when the news came down that the slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico were shutting down and not taking any more horses from the US..I think that could have been the beginning of the scandal..


  13. I’m off red meat. Thank you everyone here who keeps inspiring me everyday. I may not be able to take it to the vegan stage but hay if you knew me–me and veggies don’t reside in the same home! And I’m buying them and eating them! Okay, can’t stand the stuff steamed. I need to stir fry my veggies but hay I’m doing it. For meat I use TVP that is flavored–sausage, hamburger, taco chicken and just plain. The beauty of tvp is that it taste and feels like meat in your mouth but isn’t. Plus it has fiber. Of course there is the issue of Monsanto. Damned if I do and damned if I don’t. What is a person to do?

    So here is my deal. I don’t use Monsanto products in my garden for weeds or anything. I try to minimize my money spent on Monsanto.

    I can’t stand beans cooked all into a big mush. So I googled how to roast beans. SIMPLE! And the taste at this point is still on the cardboard side. I have to work on it I know. But I can eat beans and get additional protein and fiber.

    Again thank you everyone for your patience while I fluttered between omnivore and vegetarian. This horse scandal hit me really hard. It has caused me to lose all faith in our government to protect us. The very idea that Nestle’s could co-mingle meat and just not know it is baffling to say the least. Same for the rest of them. When they ask why my response is easy now. No one is taking clear responsibility. Rather it seems they like to play the blame game. So I took the fun out of it for them. And made up my own rules. And now I’m slowly getting healthier for it.

    Yes, I did get word earlier today about the USDA defunding horse slaughter inspections for the next fiscal year. The usual folks are in an uproar. To which I can only say tough beanie boppers. But it’s not quite enough to get me back to eating chicken, turkey or beef.


    • Good for you, Margaret! One step at a time — and you’ll get there. Sometime, maybe out of curiosity, find a vegan meet-up group and attend one of the potluck or restaurant dinners. Ask lots of questions.

      By the way, most recipes can be “veganized” these days — and they are incredibly delicious! I mean, even tomato soup tastes like the real deal when you add almond milk to it. 🙂


    • I hear you, Margaret, about the Monsanto affiliated products. I have a list of the 67 national brands that use their GMOs (genetically modified organisms), specifically the highly addictive taste of HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) that makes us so fat as a country. The only “mock” meat brand on the list is Morningstar. Brands such as Lifeline, Tofurkey, Field Roast, Yves, and Gardein pride themselves on being “healthy” and state they do not use GMOs. As consumers, we hold them to that promise by rewarding them with our purchases – or not. My husband came kicking and screaming into vegetarianism, so I have become very familiar with these texturize vegetable proteins. Now he is a fan and doesn’t miss all the old animal grease. Plus he weighs what he did in high school as a gymnast. Tip – get great vegan recipes on-line! Bless you for trying! 🙂


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