Romania investigating horse meat fraud

Feb. 10, 2013 at 11:26 AM

LONDON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Romanian officials said they are investigating whether horse meat passed off as beef in France and Britain came from one of its slaughterhouses.

Frozen, ready-made meals by Findus and Comigel were found to have had up to 100 percent horse meat in them, but the two companies said they believe they are victims of fraud, the BBC reported.

The company that supplied the meat to the companies, Spanghero, said it is also the victim of fraud and that it intends to sue its Romanian suppliers.

"This is a conspiracy against the public. It's either gross incompetence or an international criminal conspiracy," said British Environment Secretary Owen Patterson.

Meanwhile, Britain's Anne McIntosh, the chairwoman of the Commons food and rural affairs committee, called for a temporary ban on all processed or frozen meat imports.

"None of our meat, none of our slaughterhouses, are implicated and we should be buying as local as possible and we should be buying fresh meat from the butcher, farm shop and supermarket," she said.

Supermarket chains throughout France have taken a variety of frozen foods from Comigel off the shelves, Radio France Internationale reported Sunday.

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