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Horsemeat Scandal Rocks Europe

The discovery of horsemeat in frozen beef burgers in the United Kingdom has fuelled a huge public scandal across the EU.

Horsemeat Scandal Rocks Europe
Horsemeat Scandal Rocks Europe

, 12.02.2013, 13:22


A meeting of European officials and food experts is due to take place this week in Brussels to analyze the case of the horsemeat sold in imported beef products. Over the last days several European countries including Romania have carried out investigations into this matter. Meanwhile all incriminated products have been withdrawn from European markets.


The scandal broke out in Britain and Sweden where pre-prepared frozen foods labeled as beef were found to contain horsemeat. The French supplier that had delivered the meat said the horsemeat actually originated in Romania. Romanian authorities have inspected the two abattoirs allegedly signaled to be the source of the meat, but have found no irregularities. Agriculture Minister Daniel Constantin:


Daniel Constantin: “There is no evidence at present in support of any mislabeled products in Romania, in any of our meat processing facilities. I would particularly like the highlight the fact that no mincemeat has ever been exported from Romania”.


In turn Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Romania was blameless in the horsemeat scandal in the UK.


Victor Ponta: “I don’t believe Romania should accept to be incriminated as the usual suspect, because our food industry is extremely transparent and measure up to all EU standards. It is very clear that the French supplier had no direct contract with any Romanian company. It is important for the entire Europe to reveal the source of the fraud and who bears responsibility for it. Our main interest was to verify if anything similar had ever happened in Romania, and based on our findings so far, there is no attested transgression of EU regulations and standards”.


The Prime Minister made it clear that the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture jointly with all the relevant bodies would call on behalf of Romania on all companies found at fault to assume responsibility for their wrongdoing. EU Commissioner for Agriculture Romanian Dacian Ciolos, now on a visit to Bucharest, has also expressed his view on this matter:


Dacian Ciolos: “There is nothing to suggest a health or food safety risk to consumers. It is a clear case of fraud. At this point, the European Commission has no data that should incriminate any Member State or one retailer or another. The European Commission is in permanent contact with all Member States involved in the matter. It is, of course, in our interest that this problem should be cleared up as soon as possible”.


It remains to be seen what decisions are to be taken at EU level so as to avoid such incidents in the future.

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