Dr Oz: Horse Meat Scandal, USDA Meat Inspections & Is Our Beef Safe?


Dr Oz: Horse Meat Scandal In Europe

Could horse meat make its way into your food without you knowing it? That is the question Dr. Oz is asking because it happened in Europe and he wonders what is being done to prevent it from happening here in the U.S. He shared the startling timeline of events from earlier this year:

  • January – Packages labeled “100% beef” were found to contain 29% horse meat in Ireland
  • February – The horse meat fraud had spread to 21 countries across Europe, including France and Italy. 10 million burgers and dozens of mislabeled products containing horse meat were pulled from the shelves. It did not stop there as it kept spreading to Russia and Hong Kong and even the Dominican Republic. All of that fraud was traced back to just a few suppliers, but it managed to spread across half the world. Could it happen here in the United States?


  1. Jane Lutz says

    Problem is, horse meat is NOT safe, horses in America are not raised as food producing animals, but as pets and athletes. Horse “aspirin” BUTE is a banned substance for all food producing animals (even dairy) as it is linked to fatal blood diseases and cancers. 98% of all US horses receive BUTE at some point in their lives which makes them unsuitable for slaughter.

    All food producing animals in the US are raised to regulations regarding feed, veterinary medicines, and the ability to trace the animal from farm to slaughter. Horses are NOT raised this way and almost all routine medications for horses are clearly labeled “DO NOT GIVE TO ANIMALS INTENDED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION”.

    Protect the American food safety chain and keep horses out of the food production pipeline.

  2. Jill Allen says

    I have two issues with human consumption of horse meat. Our companion American horses are not raised for food…their meat contains all sorts of medications that are carcinogins and that have not been approved for use in meat animals, etc, and this country determined decades ago that horse meat wasn’t suitable even for dog food for those reasons. The second reason is the horrific nature of commercial horse slaughter, both transportation and killing. Current methods are designed to process cattle humanely but they do NOT work well for horses. No other ‘food’ animal in this country is legally allowed to suffer the pain and terror experienced by horses put through the slaughter process. Bolt guns, utilized in this country, have a 97% first-hit stun rate on cattle, but only a 60% first-hit stun rate for horses. Consequently, horses often require many additional attempts to knock them out, suffering massive injuries in the process, and can still be conscious as they are subjected to rendering. The USDA requires a 95% first-hit stun rate, but that is impossible for horses due to their nature and physiology. Any plants located in this country are for the benefit of foreign countries, are notoriously bad neighbors wherever they are located, and many expenses generated in policing this horrific business are born by the US taxpayer. California did have, and may still have, a ‘euth’ truck program that would put down old, diseased or unwanted horses for owners at a reasonable cost, and that is a humane way to dispose of excess horses. I suggest that breeders pay a tax to fund humane euthanesia for horses…there has to be a better way. As far as the USDA inspectors having eyes on every carcass processed in this country…who are they trying to kid? At horse slaughter plants in the past, inspectors were notoriously absent. With the massive funds cuts that have now taken place, I doubt the reduced number of inspectors can cover even a small portion of this country’s processing of cattle, swine and poultry, much less horses which would have less importance assigned to oversight of their gruesome deaths. I am sure the safety of our food supply is more and more compromised each time the government slashes operating funds!

  3. Sharon says

    Horsemeat is not processed in the US so how does a USDA inspector handle the “beef” that comes in already processed from Canada?

  4. Jo-Claire Corcoran says

    Unfortunately, the USDA rep mislead Dr. Oz. First not every carcass is checked on beef, nor would it be on horse meat. The inspectors are not on the floor the entire time the slaughter process is operating. They also do not check every organ.

    We do not raise horses in this country under food safety guidelines because they are not food animals. The FDA classifies horses as companion animals just like our cats and dogs. Bute the medication Dr Oz spoke about is given to almost every horse in the US, kind of like a horse aspirin. It is banned from use in ANY animal intended for human consumption. It is processed in the liver and it’s metabolites are stored in the kidneys. Unless they are checking the kidneys then they are not finding the bute present.

    Last year, out of millions of cattle slaughtered for food, only 300+ carcasses were actually tested for drugs. Is that safe? No it’s not.

    So horse meat from the US is not safe for human consumption.

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