East Anglian MEP Vicky Ford is celebrating success for British farmers after a proposal was voted through the Parliament to make sure all European meat products carry a country of origin label.
The vote follows a detailed review of the systemic failures during the horsemeat scandal and paves the way for much clearer tracking of meat products. Mrs Ford has been campaigning for stricter labelling rules on meat products since the bird flu outbreak which affected parts of Suffolk in 2007. This episode exposed the scandal that meat processed in the UK could be labelled as British product even if the bird or animal concerned had never lived in the UK, but had been imported after slaughter.
Rules for country of origin labels on single-product unprocessed meats have already been introduced but this recent campaign intends to extend that to processed products. It also calls for an impact assessment to make sure that costs for producers and processors do not escalate unnecessarily.
Vicky Ford MEP said "Last year´s horsemeat scandal and previous outbreaks of diseases like Bird Flu and Foot & Mouth show how important it is to be able to trace where meat has come from. You should not be able to bring a dead animal into the UK, cut it up, perhaps even cook it, and then put a Union Jack on the label. Some people argue this will add extra costs to food producers, but they don´t think about the huge costs which are incurred when a disease breaks out and its source can-not be pin-pointed. Even McDonalds ensures traceability of all its meat products - others should be able to do the same. I am glad that the voices of responsible local British farmers have finally been heard."
My Political Priorities
Economic Stability must come first. Without a strong economy we can not deliver a strong society. I work with businesses and consumers to keep Britain open for business, cutting red tape, boosting trade opportunities and helping to deliver jobs and growth for all.
I support Science and Research which is key to delivering better medical care, healthy food as well as the Innovation and Creative Industries which bring improved lifestyles for all our families.
Strong home Security is vital in today's uncertain world, which requires robust policing and defence and deep international relationships that we can depend on. I work with others to achieve this.
I care about the Countryside and the Environment and making sure that rural and urban communities flourish.