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 splash

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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  • Vegetarians Conspiracy

    The whole thing is a conspiracy by vegetarian groups to shock meat-eaters into going green.

  • Obesity Conspiracy

    Fed up with how fat Britons are getting, the government is drip feeding us lean, low fat horse meat in ready meals to slim our silhouettes

  • The Athlete Conspiracy

    In order to make us more active and continue our success in the Rio Olympics, the government is feeding us horse meat to help us run faster. Like horses gallop in races, y'know.

  • Counter The Deficit Conspiracy

    By allowing suppliers to make more money on horse meat, Osborne is hoping to balance the budget quicker

  • The EU Conspiracy

    The EU are feeding us horse meat because, well, they are the EU and they're evil. Vote UKIP everyone!

  • British Beef Conspiracy

    It's a conspiracy to make us all buy British beef. Despite the raids of British plants.

  • Supermarket conspiracy

    It's a conspiracy of the supermarkets to make us all buy their Finest range.

  • Galloway's Behind It.....

SEE ALSO: The 3:05 Horse Meat Race At Ascot (VIDEO)

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