“There may well be more bad results coming through, that’s the point of doing this random analysis,” Mr Paterson said.
Findus in Sweden pulled frozen beef products found to contain horse DNA off supermarket shelves and it joins Ireland, the UK, France, Sweden, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Poland in being linked to the crisis.
The chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) Prof Alan Reilly described it as "a European-wide problem" and he said that the discovery of horse meat in Findus products labelled as beef was "a very serious finding". He said that if Findus and Tesco “cannot have a secure supply line for their products... we do have a major problem within this sector of the trade," he said.
Dr Patrick Wall, UCD's associate professor of public health. said the FSAI had been criticised in the early stages of the crisis but he said it now needed to be recognised that “it has uncovered a huger Europe wide scam. If it had not been for the FSAI this scam could have gone unchecked for years and it has set the standard others across Europe will have to follow.”
A spokeswoman for the British prime minister David Cameron said "acts of criminality" were behind the crisis. "If you are a company buying a particular meat and you are led to believe it is what you asked for, but then you find it's not, then clearly there's been some law broken there".
The motivation was outlined last night by Dr Wall. He told The Irish Times that dealers stood to make vast profits if they swapped horsemeat for beef. "Beef sells for around €4 a kilo while horse meat costs no more than 90 cent," he said. "So what we are seeing here is fraud on an absolutely huge scale," he said. "And the people behind this fraud would have been making enormous sums of money."
British Food Standards Agencyは食品製造業者に、全ての自社商品をテストするために1週間の猶予を与えたとある。しかし、この記事が出る前夜の時点で、完全解明には数カ月を要するとの専門家の声が聞かれている。Kantar Retailの分析家Bryan Robertsさんは騒ぎは1年続くだろうとして、次のように述べている。
"The big question is obviously now that we don't know what else we don't know. For the retailers, the challenge may be that some shoppers will become more aware of providence and that cheap comes at a price."