11 February 2013
The Romanian government says it is investigating claims that horsemeat found in food products in several European countries came from Romania.
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It is a convoluted supply chain involving Dutch and Cypriot agents, two French processing companies and Romanian abattoirs. But where in that complex network did horse become beef?
The investigation is focused on the paperwork, the export documents which should certify what kind of frozen meat is being transported. In Romania two of the 35 European approved abattoirs were involved: one that deals only in horses has now been cleared – the other, some 450km from Bucharest, slaughters both cattle and horses and remains part of the inquiry.
In France, where six supermarket chains have withdrawn products, the Prime Minister has called an emergency meeting.
The Romanian President is also deeply concerned. “I hope the false labelling of meat does not come from this country,” he said. “False labelling for financial profit would harm Romania’s credibility for years to come - with serious implications, he added, for our export market.”
Click here to hear the vocabulary
- supply chain
the sequence of processes involved in taking a product from where it is made to where it is sold
buildings where animals are killed for their meat
written records and documents
kills animals for meat
an official process to find out information about something that has happened (also spelled 'enquiry' in the UK)
possible future effects