EU ministers call for action on meat labelling

25th February 2013 - Fine Cut

European Union ministers are calling for the fast-tracking of clearer country of origin labelling on meat products, according to

Environment secretary Owen Paterson will be one of many ministers pressing for speedier action on country-of-origin labels for processed beef and other meat products - due to the spiralling horsemeat scandal.

He said: "The European Commission's recommendations on labelling the origin of all processed meat should be accelerated and published as soon as possible. This is so that we can have more certainty on where our meat is coming from."

His comments follow a call from French president Francois Hollande in demanding more traceability at European level.

It is thought a report on implementing tougher rules will not be ready until the end of the year. However, Paterson will be attempting to bring this report forward in response to the questions about the labelling of meat and meat-based products.

The most recent brand to be caught up in the horsemeat scandal is Swedish retailer Ikea, which has withdrawn a batch of Swedish meatballs from its 18 UK sites and stopped sales from the same line in 12 other European countries, adds

The horsemeat was found in 1kg of frozen meatballs by inspectors from Czech Republic; a total of 760kgs of the meatballs were stopped from reaching the shelves.

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