November 8, 2012


UK to implement country-of-origin labelling on meat



The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is implementing the country-of-origin meat labelling within UK, in line with its several food labelling changes that calls for a "stronger labelling across the whole of the EU". 

However, Defra added that implementation of mandatory country-of-origin labelling would be "subject to [European] Commission rules".


"The government is tightening up rules to make it easier for shoppers to make more informed decisions for themselves and their families at the tills. We fought long and hard in Europe for more honest labelling so that people can make up their own minds about what they eat," said the UK Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, David Heath.

Other labelling changes include requirements for processors to announce whether products contain palm oil or nanomaterial ingredients, and for foodservice outlets to provide allergen advice.


Defra said the new rules would consolidate 14 pieces of legislation into one, "cutting red tape for businesses". However, it added that it would allow a "reasonable" amount of time for processors to adapt to the new rules.


The exact details of the new rules and how they will be implemented have not yet been announced and Defra said it was encouraging industry to respond to a consultation on the regulations.


Country-of-origin labeling for meat has been on the agenda of EU politicians for some time, but has not yet passed through to legislation. Similar moves elsewhere in the world have been controversial, with the World Trade Organisation (WTO)'s Appelate Body recently ruling that the US was violating its international trade obligations by insisting on mandatory country-of-origin labelling (COOL).

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