22 June 2000
Tesco slams beef gender labels

TESCO has spoken out against EU plans requiring beef labels to give the sex of a slaughtered animal, reports the Financial Times.

The leading supermarket chain warned that the measures, which are part of a response to the BSE crisis, will backfire.

“The labels will not do anything for consumer safety or traceability. They will provide information the consumer will not understand and does not want,” said a spokesman.

On Wednesday (21 June) British MEPs tabled amendments to the legislation, which will be discussed by the European Parliament next month.

Critics fear segregating steers from heifers will add up to 10% to abattoir costs and could drive small abattoirs out of business.

British farmers are also pushing for the phrase “slaughtered in” to be dropped form labels, as it has negative connotations in English.

  • Financial Times 22/06/2000 page 8