“We urgently need to put EU rules in place on ‘country of origin’ labelling for meat in processed foods,” said Glenis Willmott, food and health spokesperson for Labour MEPs, reacting to yesterday’s European Commission announcement revealing the results of EU-wide DNA-testing
“It’s only this kind of regulation which will force manufacturers to get a grip on their supply chain,” she continued.
“It’s shocking to see how widespread the horsemeat scandal is.
“In 2011 the European Parliament supported my proposals for country of origin labelling for meat in processed foods but my plans were blocked by EU governments, including the UK government. I insisted that this was a serious issue, and obliged the European Commission to look into it and report back by the end of this year.”
“I was always told that the supply chain for meat in processed foods was too complex to allow for labelling. Now we’ve seen what those complexities can hide.”
“It’s time we had a truly transparent system so that consumers know what they’re eating and where it’s come from.”
“Many EU countries are currently cutting back on food safety inspections, which are vital for preventing fraud in the food chain.”
“If the EU doesn’t put in place a better inspection system there will be similar cases in the future.”
“We also have to seriously look at the issue of the banned anti-inflammatory horse drug “phenylbutazone” – known as “bute” – in the food chain, which is a public health concern,” Glenis Willmott said.