Dutch trader jailed for role in 2013 horsemeat scandal

HorsemeatA Dutch meat trader has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail after being found guilty of falsifying documents in order to pass horsemeat off as beef.

45-year-old Willy Selten was arrested in May 2013 and was accused of selling 300 tonnes of mislabelled horsemeat via his Oss-based wholesaling business, although he protested his innocence and said the substitution was accidental.

The trader's arrest came in the midst of the 2013 horsemeat scandal in the UK, in which horse DNA was discovered in a number of food products labelled as being 100 per cent pure beef, undermining the integrity of the meat supply chain. Selten is the first person to be convicted for involvement in the affair, which extended to 13 countries across Europe.

The scandal exposed widespread issues relating to mislabelling and the security of the food supply chain across Europe. Since then, both the Netherlands and the UK have set up dedicated food fraud units to try to tackle this sort of illicit activity, while at the European level new measures have been introduced to improve traceability.

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