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The horsemeat scandal is no longer confined to just the UK as it has emerged that up to 16 EU countries could be affected.

Horsemeat was also found in frozen lasagnes in France, which has been traced back to traders in the Netherlands and Cyprus who were using Romanian abattoirs. Romania denies the mislabeling of horsemeat and claims that its horsemeat is not used for mince.

Agriculture ministers from various EU countries will meet to discuss the situation in Brussels.

Rumour has it that the Italian and Polish mafia are behind the scandal by substituting cheap horsemeat and forcing officials to sign the meat off as beef.

In the future there needs to be better labeling on meat and its country of origin. This may make a consumer think twice before buying the product, and perhaps think towards buying more locally. It seems shocking to think that meat comes from many borders away and the labyrinth of a journey that the meat goes through in the EU seems unnecessary. Perhaps some countries should look at their own agricultural industry- other countries may provide cheaper options in terms of meat, but the quality or even the product itself may not be what is expected.

Naturally there is a deeper lying problem if the claims regarding the mafia are indeed true. In this case it is a problem of corruption which needs to be further looked at by the accused countries, and one which is probably more widespread than simply the meat industry.

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