Romania to help EU oversee meat industry
Romania will work with its EU partners to ensure oversight and accountability in the European meat industry following the horse meat scandal, the country’s foreign minister has said during a visit to Dublin.
The controversy originated from tonnes of horse meat exported from Romanian abattoirs to France, where it was processed into ready-made meals. Romanian authorities say the meat was correctly labelled when it left the country and the fraud occurred further down the food supply chain.
Romania’s foreign minister, Titus Corlatean, said his government had moved swiftly to investigate the matter when the scandal broke. “This was important for us because it was a risk not only to affect the image of our country but also to provoke serious damage on an economic level,” he told The Irish Times.
“Fortunately we succeeded in clarifying the issue very quickly with our European partners . . . the Romanian companies concerned respected European rules on sanitary checks and labelling. We will work with our European partners in dealing with this issue in the future and putting sanctions on those who are committing fraud.”
Mr Corlatean said that if his government had not acted promptly, the controversy risked deepening what he said were negative attitudes towards Romania. “It was a temptation once again . . . to talk about Romanians in a negative way.”
The minister has been vocal in his criticism of the tone of media and political debate over Romanian immigration in several EU countries.