Romania's Agriculture Minister Daniel Constantin on Friday stressed that the horsemeat scandal in the UK that allegedly involved a Romanian butcher should be very carefully analysed and hoped that the media should show some restraint in covering the issue.
"It seems to me that Romania gets very quick pointed at and negatively covered in the media," the official told a conference held at the Indagra International Agriculture and Food Trade Fair in Bucharest.
"I am calling on the media and all those who are quick to point a finger at Romania to first of all analyse things very carefully," he said.
"I have always said that if the culprit is in Romania, he or she has to be penalised and forbidden from getting to the European Union's market," the minister stated, adding that "we are already conducting all the necessary analyses. Samples of the January batch that seemed to have been contaminated are kept with the exporter."
"Veterinary checks in Romania are very rigorous," he explained, stressing that "this is a sector that fares very well, with Romanian products being in high esteem on the European market."
According to the official, last year Romanian exports of such products to the European market were worth 250 million euros.
Two chains in the UK have withdrawn from sale a batch of canned sliced beef imported from Romania that was found to contain between 1 percent and 5 percent horse DNA.
On the other hand, thousands of kilograms of fowl meat was withdrawn this week in Romania, amidst suspicions of the meat having been contaminated with salmonella.