Level of horsemeat DNA in beef drops

The European Commission's second round of coordinated pan-European testing for horsemeat DNA in beef products, launched in April this year, showed only 0.61% of the samples testing positive.

The testing was a follow-up to the exercise carried out in 2013 in the wake of the horsemeat crisis, where 4.6% of products tested positive. The scandal of horsemeat in products labelled as beef spread across Europe in early 2013, prompting product withdrawals, consumer concerns and government investigations into the continent's food-processing chains.

Tonio Borg, Commissioner for Health, said the findings confirm that the collective efforts are bearing fruit and that increased controls to uncover food fraud are having real impact.

"Restoring the trust and confidence of European consumers and businesses in our food chain is vital for our economy given that the food sector is one of the EU's largest economic sectors. I believe that this on-going work will continue to pay dividends. Fraudulent practices must be tackled through joined-up efforts to target the weakest links in the food supply chain," Borg said in a statement.

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