Horsemeat scandal shows that EU food safety system is ineffective - Russia's chief sanitary inspector

The Russian sanitary services will inspect retail chains for products containing horsemeat, which has caused a scandal in Europe, Russia's chief sanitary inspector Gennady Onishchenko told Interfax on Thursday.

"There don't seen to have been any direct supplies, but we have issued an order to check, and if such products are found they will be removed from retail chains," he said.

Onishchenko said Rospotrebnadzor has asked the EU Directorate-General for Health and Consumers to explain this situation.

"All these things once again confirm that the safety control system for food products in the EU and Western Europe is not working, although they are trying to teach us," Onishchenko said.

A scandal is now raging in Europe, where horsemeat was sold in the guise of beef.

"There are two aspects. Firstly, the sale of horsemeat disguised as beef hamburgers violated consumer rights, and that obviously constitutes deceit. Secondly, the drug phenylbutazone has been found in the meat. It is used in the treatment of horses. It's a carcinogenic drug and it poses a direct threat to human health," Onishchenko said.

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