HC Deb 14 December 1999 vol 341 cc180-1W
Mr. Robertson

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what regulations exist to ensure that food labelling is not misleading(a) generally and (b) regarding content and country of origin; and if he will make a statement. [102224]

Ms Quin

[holding answer 13 December 1999]: (a) The Food Safety Act 1990 makes it an offence for anyone selling a food product to describe it in a way which is false or likely to mislead the consumer as to its nature, substance or quality. It is also an offence under the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 for a product to carry a false or misleading description.

(b) The Food Labelling Regulations 1996 (as amended) require labels to contain quite detailed information about the product, including its name and a list of ingredients. Place of origin marking is required where failure to provide it may mislead the purchaser as to the product's true origin.

We are consulting interested parties on draft guidelines which emphasises the need to ensure that, where origin markings are provided, they are accurate and do not mislead consumers.