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Origin Marking

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 5 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to improve country of origin labelling. (253937)

I have been asked to reply.

The framework European Commission legislation governing general food labelling is currently being revised in Brussels. This includes a consideration of the tightening of criteria around voluntary country of origin declarations. The Government support this move and are actively involved in these negotiations.

In order to help industry meet consumer interest in this issue, the Food Standards Agency has had in place since 2002, best practice guidance. This advises, for example, that bacon products from imported pork should be clearly labelled as such. Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Ministers are holding a series of meetings with industry to promote uptake of the guidance.