Horsemeat scandal shows need for stiffer sanctions, EU says

February 28, 2013

Brussels plans stiffer sanctions against food fraud following the discovery of mislabelled ready-made meals across Europe containing horsemeat instead of beef, the EU's health commissioner said Thursday.

"The scandal confirms the importance of proper controls and dissuasive sanctions," Health Commissioner Tonio Borg told the 's health and food safety committee.

Borg said that "to reinforce the element of dissuasiveness," an upcoming proposal by the EU executive to review agri-food legislation will include a call on member states to agree financial penalities for intentional violations of food chain rules "at a level which the sought through the violation."

Even in the case of false labelling, the penalty must serve "as an effective deterrent that shows that crime does not pay" and be at least equal to the economic gain made by those involved, he said.

Borg said the Commission also favoured tighter controls along the "in case of risk".

New proposals for stiffer sanctions and tighter controls will be presented in the spring, said Borg's spokesman. But they will have to be agreed by both the parliament and the 27 member states, meaning they are unlikely to be ready before the end of the mandate of the present Commission in May 2014.

Explore further: EU says too early to impose meat labelling

Related Stories

EU says too early to impose meat labelling

February 12, 2013

The European Commission said Tuesday it is too early to require labelling on meat used in processed foods despite growing uproar over horse meat being passed off as beef in frozen hamburgers and lasagne.

EU ministers tackle horsemeat scandal at crisis talks

February 13, 2013

EU ministers called in Europe's law enforcement agency Wednesday to help tackle a spreading crisis over mislabelled frozen meals containing horsemeat and promised a crash DNA food testing in an effort to restore consumer ...

Recommended for you

Mobile app records our erratic eating habits

September 24, 2015

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner? For too many of us, the three meals of the day go more like: office meeting pastry, mid-afternoon energy drink, and midnight pizza. In Cell Metabolism on September 24, Salk Institute scientists ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.