OFC - Concern over Battery Cage Eggs Raised05 January 2012
UK - UK Independence party member of the European Parliament, Stuart Agnew, called on the food processing and catering industries during the Oxford Farming conference to take action to prevent eggs from EU countries that do not comply with new enriched cages legislation from entering the food chain in the UK.
Speaking from the floor of the conference during a question time session, Mr Agnew said that the UK could not rely on the European Commission to take action.
And he called on the government to take a "political lead" in the matter.
"We need egg processors and caterers to do something about it," he said.
Sion Roberts from the European Food and Farming Partnerships said it was a critical issue as the investment decisions the UK egg producers have made have had a great impact.
However, farm minister Jim Paice said that while the government would have liked to have banned the eggs from countries that have not complied with the new legislation from entering the food chain in the UK, it would be against EU law.
He added that it would also be virtually impossible to impose the ban as only class A eggs are certified and traceable and class B eggs are not traceable.
"We have asked the Commission to act," he said.
"But it would have been illegal to ban them. We can't do it."