Dutch Businessman Linked To European Horsemeat Scare Sentenced To 2.5 Years In Jail

While we’ve had our own share of meat scandals in our nation’s history, Americans with a love of Mr. Ed and Black Beauty watched dismayed about two years ago, as Europe was in the throes of huge horsemeat scandal. And now, a Dutch businessman linked to the meat switcheroo, where horsemeat was sold as beef, is headed to prison.

Tons of horsemeat labeled falsely as beef was pulled off shelves across Europe in 2013, and now a Dutch court has found that two meat wholesalers owned by a Dutch businessman were behind the false labels, reports Reuters.

The court says the companies bought and processed a minimum of about 360 tones of horsemeat in 2011 and 2012, selling it to customers who thought they were buying beef. As in, beef from a cow and not fake beef.

“By selling largely to foreign buyers he contributed to a negative image of the Dutch beef industry, causing damage to the sector” for his own profit, the district court said.

They said his companies bought tons of horsemeat from suppliers elsewhere in Europe, selling it to more than 500 other companies from there.

Europeans started freaking out in January 2013 after genetic tests found traces of horsemeat in burgers sold in two supermarkets in England. From there, fake beef products tainted with horsemeat popped up across the continent.

The man told the court that the meat was mislabeled out of carelessness, and that he wasn’t trying to trick people. But the court didn’t agree, noting that his accounts and invoices showed his company didn’t deal with horsemeat, so there’s no way things would simply be mislabeled mistakenly.

Though he received 30 months in jail, that’s just half of what prosecutors had demanded as punishment.

Dutch businessman behind horsemeat scandal gets two and a half years’ jail [Reuters]

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