HC Deb 13 January 2003 vol 397 cc496-7W
Norman Baker

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made towards a clearer labelling system on animal meat products to ensure that the consumer can tell where the animal(a) originated and (b) was slaughtered. [89084]

Ms Blears

[holding answer 8 January 2003]: Compulsory labelling rules already apply to all fresh, chilled and frozen beef and veal, including mince. These rules require information about the country or countries of birth, rearing, slaughter and cutting to be given on the label. The European Commission is expected to submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council later this year on extending the scope of these rules to cover processed products containing beef, and beef based products.

The Government wants to see compulsory origin labelling on a wider range of foods, particularly other meats and meat ingredients in meat products, and statutory controls on the use of terms like "produce of". The European Commission has identified rules on origin labelling as one of the key issues to be taken forward in a comprehensive review of food labelling legislation, which is due to be initiated shortly.