MEPs extend country of origin labels to meat products

Compulsory country-of-origin food labelling could become mandatory for all meat and poultry products sold in the European Union (EU) after it was accepted by the European Parliament.

MEPs also approved country-of-origin labelling for meat and poultry used as processed food ingredients, albeit subject to impact assessments protecting manufacturers from excessive administration.

In a first vote on a new European Union (EU) food labelling regulation, they accepted proposals that meat labels should indicate where livestock was born, reared and slaughtered, with meat produced from slaughter without stunning (through religious tradition) being labelled as such.

German MEP Renate Sommer said: "we can continue to improve the current proposal to better inform consumers."

The proposal now returns to the EU Council of Ministers for further amendment and then MEPs will vote again. In the meantime, the parliament also supported a proposal that fat, saturates, sugar, salt and energy content must be indicated on the front of processed food packs, including meat products.

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