Meat used in processed food should be labeled by country of origin, an Environment, Public Health and Food Safety European Parliament Committee has said, calling on the European Commission to come up with legislative proposals.
The committee has urged the commission to follow up its 2013 report with legislative proposals making it mandatory to state the country of origin of meat used in processed foods, in order to ensure more transparency throughout the food chain and better inform consumers.
Members of European Parliament (MEPs) also reiterated their concern over the potential impact of food fraud on food safety, consumer confidence and health, the function of the food chain and farm produce prices.
MEPs point out that the European Commission’s own report acknowledges that more than 90 percent of consumer respondents consider it important that meat origin should be labeled on processed food products. This is one of the several factors that may influence consumer behavior and help to restore confidence following the horsemeat scandal, the MEPs say.
In December 2013, the European Commission submitted a report to the European Parliament and the council on the likely consequences of making it mandatory to state the country of origin or place of provenance of meat used as an ingredient. It is thought that, depending on the EU Member State concerned, 30-50 percent of slaughtered meat is processed into meat ingredients for foodstuffs, mostly minced meat, meat preparations, and meat products.
The resolution will be discussed and put to a plenary session vote in February.