Legal action over the horsemeat scandal will be taken in Europe after the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson described it as "a case of fraud" against the public. The government says cases appear to be widespread across Europe, but has ruled out a ban on meat imports:
This is a case of fraud and a conspiracy against the public, this is a criminal action, substituting one material for another. If a British consumer goes into a retail store and buys a beef product, they should expect to get beef in that product, not horse.
– Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, SPEAKING TO BBC BREAKFAST
So this is a straight case of fraud and I think you will see legal actions beginning in certain continental countries today. I will be taking it up with certain ministers and also with the Commission in Europe, because this is overall a European Commission competence.
It is absolutely unacceptable that consumers are being passed off with one product when they buy another.