Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has already insisted there is an 'international criminal conspiracy' behind the horse meat scandal and as cases of contamination rise, theories on why and how horse meat got into our meals have begun to circulate.
Some theories have already made it into print, with the Daily Mail accusing the mafia of masterminding a great horsemeat cover-up earlier in February. In some ways it makes sense. After all, mobsters are renowned for disrespecting horse welfare (think of that scene from The Godfather).
Horse meat conspiracy theories have been circulating on social networks
Another theory advanced by a French politician suggested that laws banning horse and donkey carts from the roads in Romania has led to mass slaughter of the beasts. Romanian abattoirs, loaded with carcasses, then packed the meat off to food suppliers. A gristly tale indeed.
An alarming connection emerged after a Yorkshire slaughterhouse that dealt with horses killed during Grand National was accused of supplying horse meat for burgers and kebabs. This led some to posit that Britons have been tucking into Red Rum around the barbecue.
As packets of mince clog up the reduced aisles bearing their yellow stickers of shame, ordinary citizens have dismissed conventional explanations of fraud, pointing the finger of blame elsewhere. Indeed, the dark heart of the internet has been throbbing with other, more sinister theories.
From solving the deficit to curing obesity, check out the main horsemeat conspiracy theories doing the rounds below.
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