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July 8, 2008 3:00 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has called upon the Government to toughen its regulations on meat labelling to ensure the public is no longer misled at the meat counter.

Mr Farron, who is also the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming, raised his concerns at the launch of a report entitled "Is the Government Buying British". The report draws on Governmental statistics and information obtained by the British Pig Executive and National Pig Association, who are concerned by the failure of a number of departments and their suppliers to source assured pork and bacon.

Currently, livestock can be bred and reared abroad, but labelled as British once it has been processed and packaged in Britain. This causes numerous problems, not least of which is the mistaken belief that consumers are getting the same high quality product that the 'British' label suggests.

Commenting Mr Farron said,

"Members of the public will continue to be misled about the quality of the meat they are buying until the Government intervenes and demands fair and honest labelling for all meat produce. Only then will the public be able to make an informed choice about the location, quality, and ethics of their meat."

"All producers, both from abroad and within the UK, should be required to apply for a 'Quality Standard Mark', to assure customers that they are receiving quality meat reared to an ethically high standard".

"By insisting, upon a Quality Standard Mark the public could be confident of the high quality of the produce they are buying".