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We need answers on horsemeat

THE DECISION by Burger King to pull a €30m contract with an Irish firm shows the massive and ongoing impact of the horsemeat scandal.

Tellingly, Burger King made the decision to drop Co Monaghan supplier Silvercrest despite the fact that no horsemeat has been found in the Burger King production line.

The move indicates just how rapidly contagion from the horsemeat scandal can spread.

There are now fears that other major companies could stop using Irish beef products, in the short term at least, to avoid any perceived link to contaminated meat.

The processed beef industry here delivers revenues of €200m a year. A huge amount of income is at risk.

Reputation is everything in this industry and major pressure is now on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to identify the source of the horsemeat which contaminated Irish beef.

Without clear answers a damaging vacuum is developing. The situation could not be more urgent.