Entries in Horse (4)


Horse Meat Found in Ikea's Swedish Meatballs?

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ikea says it isn't horsing around with Swedish meatballs sold in the U.S.

The Scandinavian company, known primarily for its ready-to-assemble furniture, is now embroiled in the European horse meat scandal that has already put Burger King, Nestles and Tesco on the defensive about just what goes into its products after inspectors found their food contained equine matter.

According to meat inspectors in the Czech Republic, evidence of horse meat was found in Ikea's Swedish meatballs that the company says are made from beef and pork.  Over a dozen European countries make the product available to customers, but there are no additional reports of horse meat being found.

While Ikea tries to sort out the controversy abroad, it issued a statement on Monday that said all its frozen Swedish meatballs offered in the U.S. come from an American supplier and "contain only beef and pork from animals raised in the U.S. and Canada."

The statement also said in part, "Ikea is committed to serving and selling high quality food that is safe, healthy and produced with care for the environment and the people who produce it."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


British Company Recalls Frozen Meals over Horse Meat

Thomas Northcut/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- After being shaken by headlines that some ground beef suppliers had been beefing up their products with horse meat and selling to supermarkets and chains like Burger King, U.K. consumers have a new reason to say neigh: an investigation uncovered a company's frozen lasagna recipe was made entirely of horse meat.

Sky News reports Findus is recalling its beef lasagna from store shelves after 11 of the 18 dishes it randomly tested contained anywhere from 60 to 100 percent of the meat.

The company is also trying to determine how much of the veterinary drug phenylbutazone was passed from horses to unwitting human diners. The drug is harmful to humans.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Cloned Horses Allowed in Olympics

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LAUSANNE, Switzerland) -- The group that governs international equestrian events, including the Olympics, has lifted its ban on cloned horses participating in competitions.  The Fédération Equestre Internationale in Lausanne, Switzerland, announced the change in June after discussions at an international forum of its members and experts.

Dr. Graeme Cooke, the federation’s veterinary director, says little was known of the science or the outcome of cloning at the time of the ban.

“We now know that the clone is only a 98 percent copy of the original,” Cooke said.

The maternal environment, training, the skill of the rider and the rider’s relationship to the horse have an impact on a competitive horse, he said.  

“Therefore, we came to the conclusion that there were so many variables there were no unfair advantages that were contrary to the spirit of sport,” he added.

That doesn’t mean a clone will be participating in this year’s Olympic equestrian events of dressage, jumping and eventing (a combination competition).  Any potential champion clone horses are still too young.  Cooke estimates that there are hundreds of cloned competitive horses spread from the United States to Europe, but the practice of cloning is so new that none is old enough to compete yet.

Cloned horses so far have been used mainly for breeding.  Mary Chapot, an Olympic equestrian who now breeds and trains horses at her farm in New Jersey, said she has paid to clone the Gran Prix champion show-jumping horse Gem Twist, producing a near-copy, Gemini.

Gem Twist was a gelding, meaning he couldn’t procreate.  Although he came from a long line of winning show-jumpers, his premiere bloodline would have died out without the cloning procedure that produced the new stallion, Gemini, who has so far fathered six foals.  

The federation ruling, which covers both clones and their progeny, is good for Chapot’s breeding business.  If any of the foals Gemini has fathered turn out to be champions, they’ll be eligible to reach for Olympic gold.

It’s too soon to know if they’ll be winners, though.

“They’re not even weaned from their mothers yet,” Chapot said.

Show-jumpers don’t start competing until they’re 4 or 5, and must be 9 to qualify for the Olympics. So it’s still a mystery whether the young horses will be gold medalists or just ordinary dappled grays with world-class genes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Biden Greeted in Mongolia, Gifted with Horse

GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images(ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia) -- Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Monday where his hosts celebrated the first visit by a U.S. vice president since 1944 with performances of traditional music and dance, a Mongol-style wrestling competition and a gift: a Mongolian horse.

"The horse is the most important animal in Mongolia,” an aide traveling with Biden told reporters.  “It is the lifeblood of the country (nomadic history), so giving a horse is one of the most meaningful gifts that can be given."

During the presentation ceremony, U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Addleton placed a blue ribbon around the horse’s neck, and Biden tied two knots in it -- a symbolic display meant to signal importance.  Biden said that he named the horse “Celtic.”

But the horse apparently did not respond in kind.

Press pool accounts of the moment said the horse “got a bit excited” by Biden’s gesture and had to be taken away.  Aides said it would not be returning to the U.S. on Air Force 2.

When asked later to explain what happened, Biden said the animal "reared up" on him and concluded that it must not have liked "the Irish epitaph."

After the ceremony, Biden posed for photos with two Mongolian camels and tried his hand at archery.  He later departed for Tokyo, Japan -- the last stop on his week-long swing through East Asia. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio