Meat products country of origin labelling call repeated by MEPs

European Parliament has repeated its call for mandatory country of origin labelling (COOL) of meat and dairy products. 

In a non-binding resolution, a majority of MEPs (422 votes to 159, with 68 abstentions) said that COOL has to be made mandatory for all meat and dairy products.

It is believed that mandatory labelling would help improve consumer confidence in food products by making the food supply chain more transparent.

The MEPs added that the EU Commission and member states should also consider extending it to other single-ingredient foods, or those with one main ingredient.

MEPs also pointed out that 88% consider such labelling necessary for meat (other than beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultry meat, which are already covered), and more than 90% consider such labelling important for processed foods (2013 European Commission report).

They noted that the Commission’s report found that the operating costs of making country of origin labelling mandatory for the meats under its remit would be “relatively minor”

National Farmers’ Union deputy president Minette Batters welcomed the decision. “I am very pleased that Members of the European Parliament have supported the NFU on clear dairy and meat labelling. We have been working with MEPs on this for a long time – in particular Glenis Willmott MEP and Julie Girling MEP – and it is positive to see the Parliament taking a stance which could so clearly help both farmers and consumers.

“We know that UK shoppers want to know where the milk comes from in their dairy products, for example, but that’s not always possible with confusing labels. I very much hope to see the European Commission engage positively following this vote to help ensure that consumers are fully aware when British meat and dairy are used in manufactured products.”

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