Tories seek country of origin food labels

UK - A campaign calling for clearer country of origin labelling on food is being launched by the Conservatives.
calendar icon 21 February 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

The Tories' fight to back genuine British produce supports the Yorkshire Post's Clearly British campaign, which is calling for better food labelling so that consumers know the food they are buying is truly British.

A staggering 1.1 million tonnes of foreign pork, beef and lamb was imported into the UK in 2006 – up from 675,000 tonnes in 1995. In addition, 560,000 tonnes of poultry was imported last year.

Foreign meat does not have to be produced to the same high standards that this country's farmers adhere to and it can be labelled as produced in whichever country it was processed in last. Processing can simply be smoking bacon or curing ham.

Confusing food labels mean shoppers who are keen to buy British produce are unwittingly purchasing foreign meat.

Last month Jim Paice, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, challenged Prime Minister Tony Blair over the Government's refusal to introduce country of origin food labelling.

Over the past few years, Ministers have rejected four food labelling Bills put forward by Conservative MPs, and Tory leader David Cameron last month called for clearer labelling when speaking at an Oxford farming conference.

Mr Paice said the Tory Party would mount its campaign over the next few months to stress the importance of proper labelling for British produce.

He added: "The labelling situation at the moment is potentially deceitful."

Source: Yorkshire Post

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