Skooter reports 02/25/13
In Brussels European Union agriculture ministers are to meet and scheduled for talks generally expected to center on the continent's mounting horsemeat scandal. On the agenda, the labeling of the origin of meat and the traceability of the products will be on top.
The scandal blew up last month when horsemeat was found in some beef meals and burgers in the UK and Ireland. From that time on, the supermarkets all over Europe have had to pull out affected prepared meals from their shelves.
The original program of the ministerial meeting involved support for rural communities and the common fisheries policy, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Brussels said. But, the ministers will now attempt to come up with measures to deal with the horsemeat scandal. Reports say that there appears to be an agreement that this is a pan-European problem that needs a collaborative approach.
Meantime, France and Germany both want compulsory labeling and traceability. On Friday, UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said that he would continue to insist on concrete, co-ordinated right across Europe when he will meet European agriculture ministers on Monday. But reports say that a workable deal could be hard. The horsemeat discovery has long, complex and poorly regulated supply chains in the meat industry.
It was implicated that a number of the biggest meat processors and food producers in at least a dozen countries are involved in the horsemeat affair. On Saturday, Italy joined the list reporting in some lasagna products.
Meanwhile, Germany's consumer affairs ministry said on Friday it had found traces of horse DNA in 67 out of 830 food products evaluated.
In Ireland Friday, authorities suspended production of one processing plant after horsemeat was found labeled as beef.