Country of origin labelling for meat ingredients in processed food
Question for oral answer O-000091/2014
to the Commission
Giovanni La Via, on behalf of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
According to the Commission’s own research, 90% of consumers wish to know the origin of meat ingredients in processed foods. In the wake of the horsemeat scandal there is an even more pressing need for clear information to consumers and more transparency and accountability in the food supply chain.
On 17 December 2013, the Commission submitted a report to the European Parliament and the Council regarding mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for meat used as an ingredient. The regulation on food information to consumers further states that the Commission may accompany this report with proposals to modify the provisions. Does the Commission intend to follow up with legislative proposals?
Whilst the Commission report, based on industry consultation, finds that labelling the country of origin of meat in processed foods may result in price increases in the range of 15-50%, is the Commission aware of consumer research that finds that labelling the origin of meat in a frozen lasagne costs, on average, just an extra EUR 0.015 and for a bolognese sauce only EUR 0.008? Furthermore, whilst the Commission report states that labelling whether the meat is from EU or non-EU sources would be a much cheaper option, is the Commission aware that research has found that this would not be an acceptable solution for consumers? Finally, has the Commission investigated the voluntary labelling of origin of meat in processed foods, a practice already fairly widespread among European retailers?