Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Department of Agriculture and Food
Question 496: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the proposals for labelling country of origin on agricultural produce in Ireland or at European Union level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37380/10]
The Minister for Health and Children has overall responsibility for the general food labelling legislation. Responsibility for the enforcement of this legislation rests with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). This is done through service contracts with other relevant agencies including the Health Service Executive, the Local Authority Veterinary Service, the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority and my Department. Under current EU food labelling legislation, country of origin marking is required in cases where failure to provide such information would be likely to mislead the consumer to a material degree.
Draft amended EU Regulations are being considered at Council Working Party level in Brussels. Ireland is represented in these negotiations by the Department of Health and Children. There is limited support from other Member States for compulsory country of origin labelling in these negotiations. Ireland is pressing for compulsory country of origin labelling on all meat products.