I think it's a little vague to blame 'mafia' and even the term 'organised crime' is rather woolly. But the whole counterfeit, knock-off, pirating business is a fairly time-honoured method of making money so why not counterfeit food?
I think that the scope of the counterfeiting here probably makes it organised crime. There must have been a number of links in the chain in order to conceal the nature of the meat from the manufacturers. Though whether it is one country based organised crime gang or simply a wider collection of criminals operating together I don't suppose we will know for quite some time.
I actually think we'll find that remarkably few people have been party to the deception... Secrecy tends to work best the fewer there are involved. Again, not some scarily faceless concept of 'organised crime' but just a well-organised group, greasing the right palms and staying under the radar
This is some of what Kevin Toolis wrote in the Guardian about the BSE scandal:
"BSE the most cynical act of biological warfare ever waged against a civilian population by a western government"
and this is what John Major told one mother whose child died from mad cow disease:
"I should make it clear that humans do not get mad cow disease"
personally I do not have any faith in the government, the FSA, the DOH to be open, honest and transparent about whether this horse meat is safe for human consumption, I have seen and read about the Romanian saughterhouse involved in another online paper this morning and it beggars belief that they slaughter any horse regardless if it is diseased or drugged, they take in any horses which then go into the food chain, there are photo's of cows hanging from hooks, have these been tested for bse?? I very much doubt it. Disgusting.