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EU ministers seek ways to counter horse-meat fraud

Butcher Sean Basey works behind a "no horsemeat" sign at Bates Butchers in Market Harborough, central England, February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Darren Staples

BRUSSELS: Germany's agriculture minister says the European Union must adopt tougher rules on labeling the ingredients of food products to regain consumer confidence amid the bloc's developing horse-meat scandal.

Ilse Aigner said Monday at the start of talks with her European counterparts in Brussels that the 27-nation bloc must agree on binding origin disclosures for food product ingredients, starting with a better labeling of meat products.

Authorities across Europe have started doing random DNA checks after traces of horse meat turned up in frozen supermarket meals such as burgers and lasagna beginning last month.

Austria backs the German initiative; others like Ireland say existing rules are sufficient but Europe-wide controls must be strengthened to address the problem of fraudulent labeling.

 

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