Brussels - All companies that have handled falsely-labelled
horsemeat are under suspicion, the European Union's health chief said on
Wednesday, adding the Commission was considering strengthening relevant law.
EU ministers are to meet later on Wednesday in Brussels to
work out their response to a scandal over the sale of horsemeat in products
sold as containing beef.
"It is evident that somewhere down the line, someone
... has fraudulently or perhaps negligently labelled a product in a deceptive
way," Borg told reporters.
"All those countries through which this meat product
has passed of course are under suspicion. By the countries, I mean the
companies in those countries which dealt with this meat product," he said,
adding it would be unfair at this stage to point the finger at any organisation
Wednesday's meeting would focus on strengthening existing EU
law, Borg said, adding the Commission was studying the possibility of extending
country-of-origin labelling to processed meat products.
The issue, affecting a growing number of European countries
and retailers, came to light on January 15, when during routine tests the Food
Safety Authority in Ireland discovered horsemeat in frozen beef burgers
produced by firms in Ireland and Britain and sold in supermarket chains
including Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer.
It has caused particular anguish in Britain, where eating
horse flesh is virtually taboo.
Concern grew last week when the British unit of frozen foods
group Findus began recalling its beef lasagne on advice from its French
supplier, Comigel, after tests showed concentrations of horsemeat ranging from
60% to 100%.
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