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EU ministers call for emergency meat testing

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union nations on Wednesday called for more intensive testing of beef for a month to try to contain the food scandal in which horsemeat was sold as beef.

The emergency meeting at EU headquarters included nations most affected by the horsemeat scandal that has swept through Europe. Ireland's Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney suggested the scandal could still still spread beyond Britain, Ireland, France, Romania, Poland and Sweden.

He said there was no reason for the public to fear for their health at this point.

The proposal envisions requiring EU members to test 6,500 beef samples for traces of horsemeat and a harmful equine medicine known as Bute during the month of March. Results would be announced April 15.

The plan will now be considered at a specially called meeting of food and animal health experts on Friday, when the 27 member states are expected to back the call.

In Britain and Ireland there is great sensitivity about eating horse, but that does not exist in other EU nations like France and Belgium.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.