16th January, 2013
Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president Gabriel Gilmartin has called on the processing plants involved in the horse DNA controversy to explain what proportion of their burgers consists of imported product.
“Suspicions are growing among Ireland’s beef farmers that the Irish beef content of burgers is being reduced with a view to keeping prices down. This concern has arisen because of the explanation that the horse DNA is linked to imported product. Are the imports limited to trace ingredients, gelling agents or flavourings or are they actually imports of meat which is making up a substantial portion of the burger?”
“The Minister needs to ensure that these facts are clarified in his investigation but in the meantime, I am calling on the factories to be open with their explanation. How much of the burger is Irish?”
Mr Gilmartin added that there was growing unease among farmers that the high standards that they adhere to and the scrutiny that they are put under is not being matched elsewhere in the food chain.