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Farron calls for stricter labelling of meat in wake of Irish pork recall

December 8, 2008 4:00 PM

Following Ireland's decision to recall all Irish-produce pork products after it was revealed that they may contain dangerous level of containments, Shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA Tim Farron has called for stricter labelling of meat products sold in supermarkets.

The recall of items included bacon, ham, sausages and even pizzas with ham toppings, after Ireland's food watchdog revealed that pork products on a number of farms had up to 200 times more dioxins than the recognised safety limit.

Animal feed contaminated with the harmful toxins is thought to have infected pig products sold across Ireland and imported to the UK. Mr Farron has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for stricter labelling standards of processed meat,

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"It's important that we don't overreact to the situation. The British Food Standards Agency have made it clear that they don't believe British consumers are at significant risk; but it's important that we don't simply forget about the experience and brush it under the carpet.

"A recall of this size just shows how a quickly a problem like this can spread if only a few farms experience a problem.

"We now have much clearer rules which require supermarkets to label the origin of fresh meat on its packaging. But for processed meat products such as pizzas, toad-in-holes, and pasties the same rules are much harder to enforce.

"In the wake of the Irish pork recall, it's important that the Government continues to seek stricter laws regulating the labelling the meat. If they do so, both British farmers and consumers will benefit."

Tim Farron's Early Day Motion: Supermarket Labelling of Meat.

1 That this House notes that currently most fresh meat produce is labelled to include it's source of origin; expressed concern that similar standard of labelling is not as strictly enforced in the case of ready meals which include processed meat; notes that it is permissible for meat and other products to be produced overseas, imported into the UK and processed then labelled as British; notes actual British meat to be of a very high standard, and that British animal welfare standards are some of the best in the world; regrets that those purchasing products containing processed meat may be misled by incorrect labelling into purchasing an inferior product; calls upon the Government to close this loophole; and further calls upon supermarkets and other retailers to exceed prescriptions of law by ensuring that only produce that has been produced in the United Kingdom is labelled as British.