Fresh pork, poultry, lamb and goat meat should be labelled mentioning their country of origin in the European Union. The labelling will not be applicable to processed meat or dairy products.
This is the result of a talk between several parties involved, like the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission, sources revealed to the Dutch agricultural newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad.
The European Parliament initially wanted a country of origin labelling for all meat and dairy but many member states as well as the European Commission opposed this proposal, as it would be too complicated to guarantee it would work.
The Commission therefore promised a ‘impact assessment’, to be carried out over the next two or three years, to see if further steps need be taken.
In many EU countries, a method using a ‘light regime’ is opted for. This would exclude mentioning an animal’s country of birth, simply because in that case many different batches of meat have to be separated in processing plants.
The European Parliament also wished to have implemented a mandatory labelling for all meat slaughtered without the prior use of anaesthetics. Especially France and Spain oppose this proposal, since there are many Muslim communities within their borders, that slaughter their meat without prior use of anaesthetics.
Mandatory origin labeling for beef and veal was agreed in the EU in 2000, at the start of the Europe’s second BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) crisis.