Commission Memo (MEMO/13/97), 13 February 2013
Since we are talking about safety I want to take this opportunity to assure EU citizens that I am following very closely the situation that has arisen in the last few days in some EU Member States over fraudulent labelling of horsemeat contained in some food products.
Since the European Commission was informed, my services are working with national authorities to see that the source of the issue is properly identified and addressed.
In particular, we are working with the French, Romanian, Dutch, Luxembourg and British authorities and we have also called for this Friday an extraordinary meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain to discuss with all Member States the situation.
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.
The EU Rapid Alert system in turn also allows us to circulate in all 27 EU countries all information related to the investigations on this scandal.
I hope that the national investigations will uncover soon the culprits.
I am grateful that the Irish presidency is organising a meeting today with the relevant Ministers for us to take stock of the situation and see what action may be appropriate.
The European Commission stands ready to help in any possible way. We will continue to coordinate this situation both at political and technical level with urgency to help Member States restore the confidence of consumers.
Thank you very much.