When a Panorama journalist asked him to explain why Iceland burgers passed British tests for horse DNA but failed Irish ones, he replied: “Well, that’s the Irish isn’t it?”
‘Well, that’s the Irish isn’t it?’
The chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, chief executive Professor Alan Reilly, slammed the comment as “unprofessional”.
He said: “It is unprofessional that a vested interest would seek to undermine our position with misinformation and speculation.”
An Iceland spokesman said after the BBC Panorama programme: “Iceland and our chief executive are deeply sorry. His comments were not intended to be disrespectful to the Irish people, including our many Irish customers, colleagues and suppliers or to the Irish authorities.
“We hold all of these in the highest regard.”