Scottish MEP Alyn Smith has called on the European Commission for immediate country of origin labelling legislation.

In the wake of the horsemeat scandal, Mr Smith, an MEP for the SNP, said there is an immediate need for a mandatory system of country of origin labelling for meat products, including supermarket own brand products.

“Incidents such as the horsemeat saga, and the reports of halal produce containing pork, work to undermine the faith of EU consumers in the safety of the food chain and strengthen calls for more robust, precise and compulsory method of food labelling, which clearly identifies the origin of the product,” said Mr Smith.

“Incidents such as the horsemeat saga, and the reports of halal produce containing pork, work to undermine the faith of EU consumers in the safety of the food chain and strengthen calls for more robust, precise and compulsory method of food labelling, which clearly identifies the origin of the product.”
SNP MEP Alyn Smith

“In the current marketplace, with concerns about the precise content of processed food, as well as carbon emissions and food miles, consumers want to know where their food comes from, and Scottish farmers, who are renowned for producing top quality product, are in a strong position to benefit from this.”

Consumers supported country of origin labelling and it was important they received full and clear information to aid with their purchasing decisions, he said.

“If supermarkets won’t, or perhaps can’t, tell us the precise contents or origin of a product on their shelves, then I want to see the commission come forward with legislative proposals that make country of origin labelling compulsory,” added Mr Smith.

“I want to see this done with all possible haste, before consumer confidence in meat products is damaged any further.”

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