Friday, August 16 10:35:34
The proprietor of an Irish meat company, McAdam Food Products Ltd., Martin McAdam, is to sue ABP Food Group for alleged defamation and loss of business over the recent horse meat scandal.
The lawsuit is over assertions made publicly by ABP about McAdam during the outbreak of the horsemeat scandal in Ireland in February 2013.
The notice of High Court proceedings has been served on ABP.
Mr. McAdam will allege in the High Court that ABP deliberately made 'false and malicious allegations' about him and his meat trading business. It will be alleged that this was in order to deflect media attention from ABP who were at the centre of the horsemeat scandal at that particular time.
Central to the case is a press release issued by ABP Group in February 2013. This 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."
The allegedly false and malicious statement issued by ABP Food Group was widely distributed and reported in the Irish and international media, causing immense damage to the reputation and business of Martin McAdam and McAdam Food Products, a spokesman for Mr McAdam said.
Mr. McAdam's legal representatives Denis McSweeney and Company have informed ABP that their statement was false in that McAdam did not supply the meat to Silvercrest which tested positive for horse DNA. In fact, McAdam supplied only 60 tonnes of beef in total to Silvercrest in 2012, and not 170 tonnes as stated in the ABP press release, the spokesman said.
As the international horsemeat in beef contamination scandal unfolded from February 2013 onwards, Mr. McAdam consistently stated that he had no awareness or knowledge whatsoever of any possibility of there being equine content in meat products imported and supplied by him to his customers, he said.
"Any such products were ordered and paid for by him at beef market prices and imported on the basis of their being understood and documented to be beef, and nothing else. Mr. McAdam provided all foreign supplier details and extensive documentation to the authorities including emails, invoices, commercial documents and veterinary letters stating that all products purchased by him were beef only," the spokesman said.
"As a meat trader he never had any physical possession of beef meat consignments ordered by him which came direct from suppliers abroad to his customers in Ireland. Transportation was made by a reputable Danish transport company in sealed door to door containers."