Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - EU - 2014

Council Press Release, 16 and 17 June 2014

LABELLING - Indication of the origin of meat: Council discussions

The following is an extract from the minutes of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting held on the 16 and 17 June 2014. A copy of the background paper 10857/14 is available on this site. See: 10857/14

The Commission informed the Council about the European Parliament's resolution of 6 February 2014 concerning Commission implementing regulation 1337/20131 laying down rules for the application of regulation 1169/20112 as regards the indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for fresh chilled and frozen meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry (10857/14). ) Furthermore it explained why its implementing Regulation represented the best possible outcome.

A number of member States supported the Commission. They disagreed with the European Parliament resolution and stated that it would be extremely difficult and very expensive to apply rules to swine, sheep, goat and poultry meat that were comparable with those rules applicable to beef meat.

When regulation 1169/2011 on food labelling was discussed in 2010, it was agreed that a mandatory indication of the origin or place of provenance for unprocessed meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry would require further impact assessments. Following such assessment, the Commission would need to consider further the options as regards the indication of origin of those foods, in particular with respect to the place of birth, rearing and slaughter of the animals. In this respect, regulation 1169/2011 gave the Commission a mandate to adopt the necessary rules through implementing acts. On this basis, the Commission adopted implementing regulation 1337/2013 providing for the compulsory indication by the Member State or third country as the rearing and slaughter » of animals.

In a resolution adopted on 6 February 2014, the European Parliament, stated that the Commission had exceeded the implementing powers conferred under Regulation 1169/2011 and called on the Commission to draw up a new regulation. This regulation should applying to the foods in question exactly the same rules as those as those that are applicable to beef meat: indication of place of birth, rearing and slaughter and excluding any derogation for minced meat and trimmings.

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