EU proposes meat testing plan
He said the mislabelling of food was a question of fraud. "There are already regulations in place that should have ensured that this didn't happen. Clearly someone has been breaching the rules," he said.
Mr Borg earlier announced that a special meeting of the EU's Standing Committee on the Food Chain has been arranged for Friday.
He rejected claims that EU policy was to blame for the horse meat scandal.and said the system as “one of the safest in the world” and that the issue was one of labelling.
Speaking in Brussels this lunchtime, the commissioner said: “Thanks to this system and its capacity for full traceability, national authorities are in a position to investigate this matter so as to find the source of the problem.”
The comments were his first public statement on the issue since the scandal broke last month. The European Commission has consistently argued that the question was a labelling rather than a health issue.
Mr Borg added there were EU rules in force on labelling and a "rapid alert" system to identify rogue goods and remove them from shelves across Europe if necessary. But enforcement of the rules was up to national authorities.
He said the Commission was first formally notified about the problem last Friday by one member state - the UK - and was now working with authorities in Ireland, UK, France, Romania, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
He said: “The EU food safety system is one of the safest in the world. Thanks to this system and its capacity for full traceability, national authorities are in a position to investigate this matter so as to find the source of the problem.
“The European rules on traceability have allowed member states to discover rapidly the origin and distribution chain of the fraudulent products.”
Mr Borg said there were currently no signs that the horse meat in the food chain was a health risk.
He said: “If there are signs, we will take immediate action, but it would be unfair and inappropriate for all countries involved to turn this immediately into a health issue without having the evidence.”
Today's meeting comes in the wake of a raid by British police on a Welsh meat plant and a Yorkshire slaughterhouse over claims that horses killed in Britain were used to make low-cost meat dishes.
The raids, a significant escalation in the crisis surrounding food labelling, occurred as MPs in the House of Commons lauded the safety of British meat supplies and urged consumers to “buy British”.