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MEPs calls for mandatory country of origin labeling

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MEPs calls for mandatory country of origin labeling

March 23
11:07 2016

country_of_originFood safety MEPs have reiterated their support for introducing mandatory country of origin labeling of meat and milk, in a non-binding resolution voted on Tuesday 22nd March. Mandatory labeling would help maintain consumer confidence in food products by making the food supply chain more transparent, they say.

The motion for a resolution restates Parliament’s position in favor of mandatory labeling of the country of origin or place of provenance of meat in processed foods. MEPs add that this labeling should also be made mandatory for meat other than that of bovine, porcine, ovine and caprine species and poultry meat, for milk and milk used as an ingredient in dairy products, for unprocessed foods, single-ingredient products and for ingredients that make up more than 50% of a food.

MEPs highlight that according to a 2013 Eurobarorneter survey:

  • 84% of EU citizens consider it necessary to indicate the origin of milk,
  • 88% consider such labeling necessary for meat (other than beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultry meat, which are already covered)
  • More than 90% consider such labeling important for processed foods.

MEPs also point out that “the mandatory indication of the origin of milk, sold as such or used as an ingredient in dairy products, is a useful measure to protect the quality of dairy products, combat food fraud and protect employment in a sector which is going through a severe crisis”.

They note that the Commission’s report found that the operating costs of making country of origin labeling mandatory for the meats under its remit would be relatively minor.

They point out that voluntary labeling, as advocated by the European Commission, might lead to the introduction of a variety of different schemes, which could be confusing for consumers.

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