Horse meat scandal - Delays hit reputation

Ireland is Europe’s largest beef exporter and tens of thousands of jobs are utterly dependent on the trade.

An expanding food sector is considered central to job creation and any economic revival.

These are high stakes and anything that threatens that potential must be confronted. We have spent decades and millions building a justified reputation for producing premium beef and lamb, a commitment that is recognised by growing market share and a priceless, enviable reputation.

The scandal about the incorrect labelling of products coming from Irish meat plants has dragged on for far too long and emphasises once again the need for an investigative authority with the powers to summon witnesses and quickly reach preliminary findings on issues of this importance. Farm Minister Simon Coveney and industry figures will come before a Dáil committee this week, but the whole episode is another argument for strengthening the Oireachtas’s power to investigate matters of national importance like this.

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