Nearly 10% of beef samples taken from meat markets in five cities turned out to be horse meat in a study conducted by the National Autonomous University.
Researchers tested 433 samples of raw and cooked meat being sold as beef and found that more than 40 were actually horse.
And of those, 29 contained a banned growth-enhancing drug called clenbuterol. More of the meat might have contained the drug because it only shows up in tests of the raw product.
Commissioned by the International Humane Society, the study was carried out in Mexico City; Chicoloapan, México state; Pachuca, Hidalgo; Aguascalientes; Zacatecas and Chihuahua.
Only in Chicoloapan, smallest of the cities in the study, were all the samples actually beef, as advertised.
The study also surveyed 330 vendors, most of whom insisted they didn’t know they were selling horse meat and said they didn’t want to.
Humane Society Mexico director Anton Aguilar said the study showed it was important that consumers be aware of the possibility that labeling in markets and tianguis can be wrong or dishonest.
Source: El País (sp)