Romania's ambassador to the UK has denied his country bears any blame for the horse meat scandal, saying facts have been incorrectly reported and no processed horse meat has ever been exported from the country.
Dr Ion Jinga's comments came after his country's prime minister reacted angrily to allegations that two Romanian abattoirs sold horse meat disguised as beef, maintaining there is no evidence such a scam took place.
Prime minister Victor Ponta said the Romanian investigation found there had been no breach of rules and the meat had been sold correctly labelled.
Asked whether he believed many involved in the scandal appeared keen to push the blame on to eastern European companies, Dr Jinga told The Huffington Post UK: "Yes, you said it."
"There has been a thorough investigation and from all the data we have, there is no breach of European rules committed in Romania.
"Our deputy minister for agriculture told me that it was minced meat imported by the lasagne company. But Romanian companies do not export minced or processed meat. It is properly labelled and controlled.
"I am not an expert, and I never ate horse meat, but I have been told horse meat, when it is whole, looks very different to beef.
"We are very keen to preserve our credibility. I believe that it is completely unacceptable to try to transfer responsibility to small producers in Romania and central Europe.
"It is unacceptable as well to provide falsely labelled food and manipulate the British public of course as well.
"The EU Commissioner for Agriculture has publicly stated that Romania is co-operating in full with their investigation. I am confident the truth will prevail.
One story in particular, printed in The Sun, he said was wholly inaccurate, denying wild horses could ever have been sold for meat.
"It is completely outrageous what some media has written about wild horses in Romania being stolen for meat, from the national reservation. They are all microchipped and under permanent surveillance by a German NGO.
"The NGO has confirmed none of the horses are missing from the reservation. We love our horses, as much as the British love theirs."
Findus lasagne contained up to 100% horse
He said he believed that the spat of anti-Romanian stories in the newspapers, centring on immigration and on meat imports could have unintended consequences.
He told HuffPost UK: "I think the majority of the British media present the correct information but there is a small section of the media, who do not check the facts, and whose aim is to create sensationalism.
"It is an unfortunate situation and can lead to dangerous results. In Brighton just recently, two Romanian friends were beaten up, attacked because they were speaking in their native language.
"I cannot help but think that this is in part the result of waves of ridiculous articles, about immigrants from central Europe taking houses, benefits, jobs etc. At the end of the day, it can lead to racist behaviour."
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