Irish trader set to sue ABP over horsemeat claim

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Meat processor ABP food group is being sued by McAdam Foods
Meat processor ABP food group is being sued by McAdam Foods

Related tags Meat Allegation Beef

Meat processor ABP Food Group is being sued for defamation over claims it made regarding the source of horsemeat in beef burgers produced at its Silvercrest plant.

Martin McAdam, owner of Irish meat trader McAdam Food Products, has launched court proceedings against ABP over assertions made in by the processor in a press release on 5 February.

According to McAdam, the press release in question stated: “ABP Food Group confirms that Silvercrest purchased beef products from McAdams Food Service (circa 170 tonnes out of total beef purchases in 2012 of 18,000 tonnes). It now appears that, while Silvercrest purchased these beef products in good faith, horse DNA originating in Poland was present in some of these products.”

McAdam has repeatedly stated that he only supplied Silvercrest with 60t of beef in 2012 and did not supply any meat that tested positive for horse DNA.

He will allege in the High Court that the allegations in the ABP press release were “false and malicious”​ and made in an attempt to deflect media attention away from ABP during the horsemeat scandal.

In a statement released on Friday, McAdam said he had “no awareness or knowledge whatsoever”​ of any possibility of there being horse DNA in any meat products his company had imported, and had evidence to prove he believed he was importing beef.

He pointed out that he had been “exonerated”​ from knowingly importing horsemeat by the Irish Deparment of Agriculture in its report on the horsemeat scandal, adding that the same report “makes no reference whatsoever between McAdam Food Products supplying ABP with beef containing horse DNA”.

“Therefore my legal team will provide evidence which has come to light recently, of the alleged defamation and other corroborating details to the High Court, that will fully clarify, that my company did not supply beef products at any state containing horse DNA to ABP Silvercrest. Ultimately all of these matters will now be put before the High Court and will be decided by the High Court,”​ he said.

An ABP spokesperson confirmed the company’s lawyers had been notified of the court action. “ABP does not believe there is any basis for the claim or that it has damaged Mr McAdam’s reputation or the reputation of McAdam Food Products,”​ he said.

“ABP has every intention of fighting this spurious claim and is continuing to investigate its legal options against McAdam Food Products and other parties.”

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