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“Bute” in horse meat presents very low risk to health, says England’s chief medical officer

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1066 (Published 15 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1066
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

England’s chief medical officer has tried to reassure the public about the safety of horse meat by announcing that someone would need to eat over 500 pure horse meat burgers a day to get close to acquiring dangerous amounts of phenylbutazone.

Phenylbutazone, known as bute, is a commonly used drug in horses. The Food Standards Agency said on 14 February that it had checked the carcasses of 206 horses slaughtered in the United Kingdom between 30 January and 7 February 2012. Eight tested positive for phenylbutazone, and meat from six of them may have entered the food chain in France.

But the …

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