M. Wells Dinette Restaurant Pulls Horse Meat From Menu

No horse meat tartare for you

Looks like M. Wells' owners Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis will be putting their horse-meat cooking skills on hold; the former owners of Long Island City darling M. Wells announced that their new restaurant at MOMA PS1 will no longer serve horse meat.

"Horse meat is off the menu at the Dinette, and it is not likely to return," the restaurant said in a statement. "We took it off because it upset so many people, which truly surprised us. That is not the effect we look for in our food, so away it goes."

Dufour and Obraitis had announced they would serve horse meat tartare in an interview with New York Magazine, and since then animal rights advocates have launched petitions against the restaurant and museum. The New York Times reports that both the restaurateurs and the museum have received letters demanding they stop serving the meat; Dufour and Obraitis say they have been receiving threatening messages.

Dufour was planning on obtaining horse meat from a slaughterhouse in Canada, where he previously bought horsemeat for a foie gras and horsemeat bologna sandwich at the Great GoogaMooga. According to the statement, they sold more than 5,000 sandwiches that weekend.

"It was certainly not our intent to insult American culture," the statement said. "However, it must be said, part of living in a city like New York means learning to tolerate different customs. If our critics can forgive us, we invite them in for a drink and a bite of whatever animal they do consume (if any). At any rate, we cry uncle."

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Two important points that the chef neglected to mention in his statement about why the restaurant is taking horse meat off the menu:

1) It is illegal to serve horse meat in the U.S.
2) It's a public health hazard

Here’s why:

Phenylbutazone, Clenbuterol, Lasix, Banamine, Ivermectin, Chloranphenicol. These are a few of more than 100 drugs administered everyday to horses for pain and swelling, respiratory problems, worming, etc. They're part of routine veterinary care and pose documented cancer risks to the public through the consumption of horse meat (raw & cooked).

Chloranphenicol must be administered using rubber gloves. Warning labels for all drugs caution avoiding contact with human skin. All are explicitly banned by the FDA in horses that are food animals. Phenybutazone is a known human carcinogen, yet thousands of horses are slaughtered each year w/these drugs in their systems—ineligible for slaughter, but slaughtered anyway.

Just a few articles discussing the risks:

“Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk”

“Eating Raw Horse Meat: Toxic or Tasty?”

“MoMA Café Chef To Serve Illegal, Tainted Horse Meat?”

“Drugs prohibited for use in horses intended for human consumption”

“FDA Order Prohibits Extra-label Use of Phenylbutazone”

Added side dish with horse meat: Trichinosis.

Mr. Dufour says the meat that he sold at the Googa Mooga festival was from a "highly regulated slaughter house." Not true. Horse slaughterhouses are so unregulated, the EU no longer wants to buy from them without a major overhaul of the system.

Dufour's statement that horse meat is "cheap and delicious" hides the cancer risks, of which he and his business partners were fully apprised prior to opening.

It was the cancer risks and legal issues that scuttled the restaurant's plans to put horse meat on the menu.

Nice that Mr. Dufour is offering free drinks. He better have plenty on hand for the 5,000 people he exposed to cancer-causing drugs in those horse meat sandwiches he served up in May. Perhaps his lawyer/business partner will be playing bartender?


Good Job! You really know your stuff.

I just hate the fact that the government is slaughtering our horses. If people get sick, oh well.

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