An offer they couldn’t refuse? Mafia may be involved in horse meat scandal by Paulick Report Staff|02.10.201302.10.2013|8:26am9:39am Britain's Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson, says officials are investigating the possibility that the recent horse meat scandal in the region could have ties to Italian and Polish mafia gangs. Sources within the horse slaughter industry told The Observer that officials have been “intimidated” into identifying meat as beef when it is actually pork or horse, which are cheaper. Paterson met with grocery store, retail, and food production representatives Saturday to create a plan for more DNA testing of food. The first round of results from tests of ground beef products is expected on Friday. “We have to be prepared that there will be more bad results coming through,” said Paterson, who echoed concerns that the horsemeat scandal could have ties to international organized crime.