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France tops EU horsemeat tests

France tops EU horsemeat tests
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Random tests have found that France had more cases of illegal horsemeat in beef products than any EU other country.

Forty seven of the 353 samples examined contained horse DNA; that’s a rate of more than 13 percent.

In the Netherlands, by contrast, the rate was just one percent of the 288 samples tested.

The European Commission wants stiffer sanctions for offenders.

“The sanctions already exist. What we are trying to propose – of course this has to be accepted then by everyone – is that the penalties would be equal to the economic gain made out of the fraud,” said EU health commissioner Tonio Borg.

Leaders agreed to the three-month testing period in February after traces of horsemeat was discovered in frozen food products.

The decision was taken amid fears that criminal gangs are deliberately mislabelling horsemeat and selling it as beef.