Horse meat trader claims innocence; beef forgery trial to begin

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No image availableNL Times

Meat trader Willy Selten admits that mistakes were made during the processing of horse meat on his farm in Oss, but he denies that he knowingly and intentionally tampered with the meat. Selten therefore assumes that he will be acquitted when the lawsuit against him begins next week, NU reports.

In 2013 the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) investigated Willy Selten on suspicion of fraud and money laundering. He allegedly sold cheaper horse meat as beef. The charges have now been brought down to only forgery.

Selten never denied that he boned and processed horses for an English customer. He mixed the horse meat with beef at the request of the customer. This horse meat ended up at a Dutch snack producer. The snack producer sent the meat back and the meat was replaced. The new batch of meat also contained horse DNA.

Selten explains the first mix up by stating that shredded beef and horse meat scraps were stored under the same number. "That was a mistake, but it happened. I forgot to use a completely different number." he told the newspaper. The horse DNA in the second batch of meat, however, still remains a mystery to him. The only explanation he can come up with is that the horse DNA remained behind on the machines.