To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the rules which(a) require and (b) allow food manufacturing companies to display the country of origin on their packaging for food sold in supermarkets; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 13 December 1999]: (a) The Food Labelling Regulations 1996 SI No. 1996 1499 (as amended) require origin marking where failure to provide such information might mislead the purchaser to a material degree as to the food's true origin.
The following measures contain product specific rules on origin marking:
- The Common Agricultural Policy (Wine) Regulations 1996 SI No. 696 (as amended).
- The Food Safety (Fishery Products and Live Shellfish) (Hygiene) Regulations 1998 SI No. 994.
- The Agricultural and Horticultural Act 1964 (as amended).
- The Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Water Regulations 1999 SI No. 1540.
- The Eggs (Marketing Standards) (Amendment) Regulations 1991 SI No. 1396.
- Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1906/90 laying down the rules on poultry meat.
- Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1374/98 which relates to imports under GATT.
(b) Voluntary origin labelling must comply with rules controlling false and misleading descriptions (the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Trade Descriptions Act 1968). In the case of beef there are detailed rules in the Beef Labelling (Enforcement) Regulations 1998.