Punishment is promised in the horse meat scandal that rocked Britain and France. Both countries’ governments are promising to punish those responsible for selling horse meat in beef products.
Benoit Hamon, the French Consumer Affairs Minister, stated that the beef contaminated with horse meat originated in Romania. They ave also discovered links with Dutch, French, and Cypriot firms, as well as a factory in Luxembourg.
Reuters reports that Owen Paterson, the British environment minister, believes more cases will emerge as the country’s retailers conduct tests for horse meat in beef products.
The horse meat scandal is affecting consumer confidence in Europe’s food industry and pressure is rising for more checks to make sure the meat is not present in other food products.
Hamon added that an EU-wide alert was sent out about the scandal. It is not yet clear if there was an intentional fraud or if the meet was accidentally sold a beef. He added, “I can assure you that, whether it’s a question of negligence of direct responsibility, there will be sanctions.”
Findus, whose frozen lasagna was found to contain horse meat, has recalled the affected products. It also believes that the contamination was deliberate, notes The New York Times. It stated:
“The early results from Findus UK’s internal investigation strongly suggests that the horsemeat contamination in beef lasagne was not accidental.”
Paterson also summoned Britain’s leading food retailers and representatives of food processor in the country to an emergency meeting at his office. He stated that participants in the meeting are determined to get to the bottom of the scandal and find out who is responsible. He stated that the scandal was either caused by “gross incompetence or what I suspect is an international criminal conspiracy.”
The horse meat scandal’s punishment will likely be sanctions and lawsuits, though it is unclear if criminal charges will be filed against those responsible.