Warning that horse meat issue could recur
David Heath told the Commons some member states opted against taking action as they did not want to remind people what had occurred and hoped the problem would go away once the "press and media furore" had calmed.
Mr Heath, a minister who helped lead the UK's response, blamed large-scale organised crime based in Europe for causing the scandal, noting the problem will arise again as they were continuing to make huge sums of money.
Horse DNA was found in frozen burgers supplied to several supermarkets in January 2013.
Investigations also found other beef products sold by retailers, including lasagne and spaghetti bolognese, were contaminated while meals in schools and hospitals had to be withdrawn after it was found they contained horse meat.
Asked if he was disappointed no convictions had been brought following the horse meat scandal, Mr Heath said: "I find it enormously frustrating because (former environ-ment secretary Owen Pater-son) and I did absolutely everything we could to mobilise and to energise enforcement agencies across Europe to make sure that this was traced.
"I believe that at the root of this was large-scale organised crime - European-based organised crime.
"I believe that more could and should have been done by other member states to get to the bottom of it.
"But I felt that having raised the issue in European Council meetings, there was then a palpable feeling from some member states that once the media furore had died down then, well, 'let's not push it too hard shall we chaps'."