Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - EU - 2014

Council Minutes, 24 March 2014,

LABELLING  – Council consideration: Report on the indication of the origin of meat

The following is an extract from the Minutes of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting held on the 24 March 2014:

The Commission presented to the ministers a report on the feasibility of extending mandatory origin labelling for all meat used as an ingredient. The report was published in December last year.

There are still diverging views among the member states as regards the scenarios assessed by the report. While many delegations were in favour of introducing mandatory labelling, a number of them would like the labelling to indicate the specific EU member state or the specific third country whereas some others would prefer it to indicate EU/non-EU origin. However some others argued for maintaining origin labelling on a voluntary basis (i.e. status quo).

The report weighs up the need for the consumer to be informed and the feasibility of introducing mandatory origin labelling, and provides a cost-benefit analysis including the impact on the single market and on international trade. This report is of particular importance in the light of the fraudulent mislabelling of beef products in the EU revealed at the beginning of last year.

The main findings in the report reveal that:

In its report, the Commission indicates that further steps, which may include tabling a legislative proposal to regulate the indication of origin of meat used as an ingredient in foods should be considered on the basis of the discussion in the Council and the European Parliament.

At the end of the Council's debate, the Commission concluded that any decision require further examination of this issue.

For the related new item (including a link to the Commission's Report), see: 17 December 2013 LABELLING - Commission tables report to launch debate on mandatory origin labelling for meat used as an ingredient

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