GUE/NGL
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Parliament piles pressure on Commission in push for mandatory origin labelling of processed meat

Today the European Parliament has voted in favour of a resolution that calls on the Commission to propose legislation on mandatory country of origin labelling for meat in processed food.

Irish MEP Lynn Boylan, shadow rapporteur on the issue for the GUE/NGL, welcomed the resolution's adoption.

She said: “It's nearly two years since the horsemeat scandal, the biggest food fraud of the 21st century, and we still don't have legislation on mandatory origin labelling for all meat, including meat as an ingredient.

“This scandal exposed the lengthy, complex, and often very murky extremes of food chains in Europe. The fact that some of the biggest supermarkets were able to just apologise and claim they didn't know where the meat came from is astounding. While this scandal was caused by criminal activity, it underlined the extremely poor levels of traceability in the food chain for consumers to know where their food is coming from. 90% of consumers want to know the origin of their meat – both fresh and processed – this is a demand that predates the horsemeat scandal and it still goes unfulfilled.”

Boylan also addressed the arguments used by opponents of mandatory labelling, who argue that such a system would increase production costs for the food industry and in turn raise consumer prices.

She said: “The Commission repeats the corporate food industry's claims that mandatory labelling would mean a production cost increase of up to 50%, yet consumer groups have shown the opposite to be true. Let us not forget that when the Commission was introducing country of origin labelling for unprocessed meat we heard these same arguments.

“Rather than being apologists for the corporate food industry the Commission should start acting to defend and represent the interests of the citizens that they supposedly work for and seek to implement what citizens and consumer groups have long been calling for.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group