Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Owen Paterson speaks to the media outside Defra Headquarters in London after an emergency meeting with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and representatives of various leading retailers, as revelations about the widespread use of horseheat in supermarket beef products continues to hit consumer confidence.

Paris - Europe’s horsemeat scandal is threatening cross-border tensions, as France says Romanian butchers and Dutch and Cypriot traders were part of a supply chain that resulted in horsemeat disguised as beef being sold in frozen lasagna around the continent.

In France, authorities increased inspections of the country’s meat business. Romania’s president is scrambling to salvage his country’s reputation. A Swedish manufacturer is suing a French supplier central to the affair.

An investigation by French authorities determined that French company, Poujol, bought meat from a Cypriot trader. That trader had received it from a Dutch food trader, and that Dutch company had received the meat from two Romanian slaughterhouses.

Poujol then supplied a Luxembourg factory which is owned by French group, Comigel. The lasagna was ultimately sold under the Sweden-based Findus brand.

The French ministers for agriculture, the food industry and consumer protection are holding an emergency meeting with meat producers on Monday.

While horsemeat is taboo in Britain, in France it is sold in specialty butcher shops. But French authorities are worried about producers misleading the public. – Sapa-AP