Romania has defended its abattoirs and a probe has cleared two producers suspected of relabelling horsemeat as beef.
The journey from slaughterhouse to ready meal in Britian and France reads like a European tour itinerary.
From Romania to Dutch and Cypriot traders to a French company then on to Luxembourg to a producer owned by a second French trader.
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said the situation could have severe consequences for his country:
“Every European is interested in what they eat and in knowing what they eat. Last year, we had a loss of 30 per cent in agriculture because
of the drought. We should get back on track this year. But if we do not combat this credibility issue, we might wake up to see it has become something worse than the drought,” he said.
No sign of malpractise was found at the Doly-Com or Carmolimp factories in Romania, both producers say they conformed with regulations.
Paul Soneriu, General manager of Carmolimp says his company sold horsemeat as horsemeat:
“During 2012, company Carmolimp made three exports of horsemeat to Holland, representing three trucks, in total 60 tons of meat. This meat was sold as horsemeat at a price which clearly indicated that it was horsemeat. Our partner has asked for horsemeat and received, with all necessary documents, horsemeat.”
Investigations are to continue to find out at which point in the complex chain the horsemeat became beef.