EU details post-horsemeat labelling and testing laws

07th May 2013 - Fine Cut

In response to the horsemeat sold as beef scandal, the European Commission has drawn up a 'revolution in food safety' which could revamp food labelling and testing across the whole European Union.

Reported by, the proposed revamp to food safety will boil down 'existing legislation' and sharpen testing regimes. More specifically, it will introduce financial penalties directly related to profits from fraud and bring in mandatory spot-check testing.

Furthermore, the EU claims national authorities 'will be encouraged' to publish league tables where consumers can check food data from everything from big-brand producers to individual restaurants.

However, proposed legislation will have to be approved by MEPs and EU leaders before it can be implemented in each country of the European Union, according to

The office of Tonio Berg, the EU health commissioner, outlined the labelling of food is a problem of fraud, not origin, and labels will be covered in legislation due to take effect from December 2014.

Borg himself commented further on plans to introduce legislation: "The recent horsemeat scandal has shown that there is room for improvement.

"The legislation that we are now proposing as a Commission is that official controllers should always be unannounced in order to strengthen our tools to fight fraud," he added.

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