This is Victor Ponta, who, expressing anger that his country had been blamed, says, “From all the data we have at the moment, there is no breach of European rules committed by companies from Romania or on Romanian territory”.
Without even having to check this, there is good reason for accepting this statement at face value. As we pointed out earlier, the false labelling scam does not work that way. Most often, meat is legitimately produced and only downstream does it acquire a new identity.
The difficulty for investigators is that, if the labels are fraudulent, and the meat has undergone an identity change, the actual indications of origin may be false. Just because either labelling or invoices say the product is Romanian does not mean that is the place of slaughter.
Even then, slaughtered animals loose their identity once they are butchered in cutting premises, acquiring the “establishment number” of the premises in which the meat is packaged. At that stage, the meat could be from anywhere, even imported from third countries.
Nor is that the whole of it. As this report indicates, processed horsemeat products are sold quite legitimately in Continental supermarkets (see below), which means that horsemeat will be legally held in many processing plants, and used as a product ingredient.