BUCHAREST Feb 20 Horsemeat labelled as beef has
been found in Romania in products set to be sold locally, an
agriculture ministry official said on Wednesday.
A scandal which has triggered recalls of ready-made meals
and damaged confidence in Europe's vast and complex food
industry, erupted last month when tests carried out in Ireland
revealed that some beef products also contained horsemeat.
An investigation has identified a French meat-processing
firm as the likely culprit in the row that has implicated
traders and abattoirs from Cyprus to Romania.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Achim Irimescu was quoted by
state news agency Agerpres as saying veterinary and animal
health authority has tracked down a batch of 100 kg (220 lb) of
horsemeat "falsely labelled as beef by a Bucharest trader".
"We took all the necessary measures and decided to expand
control activities at other enterprises," Irimescu, who would
not name the warehouse, added.
The ANSVSA veterinary watchdog said suspect meat might have
entered shopping outlets and an investigation was under way. The
agriculture ministry was not immediately available to comment.
European Union governments approved an EU-wide programme of
DNA tests on beef products to assess the scale of a food scandal
involving mislabelled horsemeat, the bloc's executive said last
The British government and the European Union have called
for a high-level meeting to investigate the scandal, and it will
be on the agenda of a Feb. 25 EU farm ministers' meeting.
(Reporting by Radu Marinas; Editing by Michael Roddy)