Processed meat labelling issue faces European Parliament vote

Demands for EU-wide laws that would make it mandatory to state the country of origin of meat used in processed meals, is to be voted on in the European Parliament (EP) on Wednesday.

The vote follows an EP debate on Monday evening in which MEPs voiced conflicting concerns about the country of origin issue.

While a 2013 EC report found “considerably strong” interest among consumers for having meat origin indicated, some MEPs believe such a move would present challenges for producers, potentially raising operational costs by as much as 30%.

Country of origin labelling is already compulsory for unprocessed beef and beef products such as mince, but not yet for meat used in prepared meals.

Irish MEP, Mairead McGuinness, contributing to Monday’s debate, said that while it was “no surprise” that consumers say they would like more information, they also said they were not prepared to pay more for their food if costs were raised as a result.

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