HL Deb 12 July 2004 vol 663 c133WA
Baroness Byford

asked Her Majesty's Government: Following the refusal by the Mercosur countries to consider animal welfare issues within the trade negotiations with the European Union, what steps they will take to ensure that consumers can identify those products containing eggs that do not conform to the standards required of European Union producers. [HL3566]

Lord Whitty:

We have already made clear to the Commission our concerns regarding the inclusion of eggs and egg products on the list of goods from which tariffs will be removed in the EU's market access offer to Mercosur. The EU's offer, which has now been submitted, is an ambitious one, covering a wide range of products.

The WTO does not allow restrictions on imports purely on the basis of production or processing method. In the light of this, the EU has been pressing in the WTO for recognition of the right of member countries to choose for themselves the level of consumer information about production and processing methods that can be included with imported products. But this has met with little support from elsewhere. I have asked my officials to keep the British Egg Industry Council informed on developments.