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Department of Agriculture Concerned Over EU Meat Labelling Proposals

The Department of Agriculture has expressed serious concerns about proposed EU meat labelling legislation, which would require producers to supply country of origin details on meat used in processed foods.

A briefing note to Irish MEPs said that while there was a clear need for consumers to be well informed when making their purchasing decisions, there are also other implications of this proposal which require further consideration.

The note expressed concern about a rise in prices if the legislation succeeds. According to the European Commission, costs could rise by between 15% and 50% if producers are required to label the country of origin.

It also warned that the proposal could impact meat product exporters if it leads to processors shortening supply chains and moving towards a nationalisation of the meat markets across EU Member States.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) have championed labelling the origin of meat on processed foods, boosted by a European Commission report published in 2013, which showed that 90% of consumers want to know where their meat comes from.

The European Parliament's Environment committee voted to accept a report backing mandatory country of origin labelling on processed meat products last month, despite a campaigning from lobby groups against it.

© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.

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