Wednesday, May 6, 2015Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Romania fears lasting damage to reputation over horsemeat

Published on Feb 11, 2013 6:02 AM
A recall notice for frozen meals which had tested positive for horse meat is seen at an Aldi supermarket in north-west London Feb 9, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BUCHAREST (AFP) - President Traian Basescu said on Sunday he feared lasting damage to Romania's reputation if a Romanian meat supplier is found to be at fault over Europe's spiralling horsemeat scandal.

Speaking after Romanian food industry officials pointed the finger of blame at the French meat importer at the heart of the controversy over horsemeat sold as beef, he said: "I hope it is not a case of false labelling on the Romanian side." Bucharest on Saturday announced a probe after the French supplier of horsemeat found in frozen lasagne meals sold in British supermarkets said it originated in a Romanian abattoir.

Mr Basescu told a news conference: "I would like to believe and I hope that this is not the case. ... Romania would be discredited for many years." Dragos Frumoso, the head of Romania's food industry union, told AFP earlier: "I find it hard to believe that a Romanian abattoir could have delivered horsemeat that was labelled beef" because of the controls in place.

The suspect lasagne meals sold by Swedish frozen food giant Findus in Britain were made by French company Comigel using meat supplied by French meat-processing firm Spanghero.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!