Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed today’s vote in the European Parliament calling for the labelling of the country of origin of meat in processed foods such as frozen lasagne and pies.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms. Childers, a full member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee which prepared the resolution, said: “Families want to know, and should know, where the meat they buy and eat comes from.”
In response to lobbying against the proposal from the food industry in Ireland, Childers said: “Unprocessed beef prices did not escalate when labelling of origin became mandatory, and neither will those of processed food including meat, according to research conducted by the Commission itself and by consumers’ organisations in the EU. In Ireland we have a good reputation regarding our beef, chicken and pork. We should welcome this move with confidence”
Consumer surveys show that over 9 out 10 people want to know the origin of the meat contained in the products they choose, especially after last year’s horse-meat scandal.
Childers said we have had such EU rules for unprocessed beef in place since the mad cow disease crisis and while we must acknowledge that better traceability alone will not put an end to food fraud, better traceability gives consumers information they value and helps food manufacturers and retailers to make better informed decisions when choosing their suppliers.
“We are talking about an average of a cent and a half extra cost for many common food products. This is a simple requirement, and I am happy the European Parliament endorsed my Committee’s proposal, so that we can convince the European Commission to bring a labelling proposal to the table.”