The former director of a French meat processor has been sentenced to six months in jail for his role in the 2013 horse meat scandal.
Jacques Poujol, ex-director at Spanghero, was found guilty of fraud by a French court and given 24 months with 18 of these suspended. The court ordered €100,000 ($112,000) that was found at his home to be confiscated.
He will also not be able to engage in professional activity related to the meat sector for two years.
Patrice Monguillon, manager of the Spanghero factory in France, received a one-year suspended sentence.
Foodwatch France said the penalties were not dissuasive enough because Spanghero’s turnover between February and December 2012 was €1.9 million ($2.1 million) for its horse meat trading. The consumer organization added that six years after the scandal in Europe similar incidents could happen again citing the example of illegal use of fipronil that affected egg products in 2017.
The horse meat scandal involved food products across Europe being labeled as beef when they contained horse. The scheme was profit driven. It was identified by Irish food inspectors who revealed in mid-January 2013 that they had found horse meat in frozen beef burgers.
Also, beef lasagna supplied by Comigel-Tavola Luxembourg was found to contain between 80 percent to 100 percent horse meat. And, horse meat labeled as beef was sold to Tavola, a subsidiary of Comigel, which sold frozen meals to companies across Europe.
Johannès Fasen, a Dutch trader, was sentenced to two years in prison and banned from working in the French meat industry. Hendricus Windmeijer, who worked with Fasen, received a one-year suspended sentence.
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