Wholesale Co linked to horsemeat bankrupt; bid to halt mass meat recall fails

A Dutch court has rejected a meat wholesaler’s bid to quash an order recalling 50,000 tonnes of beef potentially contaminated with horsemeat.

“The court rejects the request for a preliminary injunction,” on Dutch food authority NVWA’s recall of meat handled by Willy Selten, judge Reinier van Zutphen said at the commercial court in The Hague on Thursday.

Businessman Selten, allegedly a key player in Europe’s horsemeat scandal, had sought to overturn the NVWA’s order to recall all meat sold by the horse.meat.09company over the past two years.

The watchdog recalled 50,000 tonnes of beef suspected to have been contaminated with horse, asking hundreds of companies across Europe supplied by Selten to check their products.

Selten’s company was on Tuesday declared bankrupt and placed under curatorship.

Lawyer Peters had argued on Tuesday that the recall was “disproportionate” and “bizarre and bordering on the mass hysteria gripping the whole of Europe”.

He said there had never been a complaint in the 22 years in which Selten’s company distributed meat from the small Dutch town of Oss, stressing: “All his meat comes from within the European Union.”

The NVWA said it had sent a letter to 130 Dutch companies who were supplied with possible horse-contaminated beef from the Selten company, asking them to “take it off the market as a precautionary measure” and “verify all products.”