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Swiss tests clear products of horsemeat

Ready-made lasagne produced by Comigel was at the centre of the Europe-wide horse meat scandal Keystone

In-depth tests on foods from Swiss supermarket chains have yielded no further positive results for horsemeat, the Cantonal Chemists’ Association said on Friday after sampling about 100 ready-made products like lasagne and meat sauces.

The Swiss supermarket chain Coop pulled its brand of “Lasagne verdi alla bolognese” off the shelves Monday because they were produced by the French supplier Comigel. Tests showed that in some Comigel products exported around Europe, notably to Britain, up to 100 per cent of the meat was horse. Britain’s food regulator said it had found 29 positive tests for horsemeat after demanding samples from UK retailers engulfed in a contamination scandal that is spreading across Europe.

On Wednesday, Coop confirmed horsemeat had also been found in its product.

Although the Swiss often eat horse, they are sensitive about the origin of meat products and have strict laws governing product labelling. Now, a provision in proposed new food legislation that would allow the cabinet to loosen food labelling laws has come into question.

“The meat scandal shows that exceptions to the labelling law are problematic,” Social Democratic parliamentarian Marina Carobbio told the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper.

Members of parties previously supportive of looser food labelling legislation have said they will re-examine their positions in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR