Fine Gael will introduce a single food label for all Irish produce which will emphasise Ireland’s ability to produce quality food, Denis Naughten has stated.
“The label will be simple and easily recognisable in both domestic and international markets and will emphasise our ability to produce green, quality and healthy food,” stated Denis Naughten.
“Under our system of clearer labelling the consumer will be able to determine the country of origin, date and country of slaughter, guideline daily amounts and GM content.
“In addition we will seek agreement at EU level on an extension of country of origin labels to a broader range of food products. “
Denis continued: “The present Government has completely failed properly regulate and enforce food labelling laws. The reality is that quality Irish food products have been undermined by loopholes in our labelling laws.
“On numerous occasions I have highlighted the fact that the ‘substantial transformation’ loophole allows produce which has had minimal processing in Ireland, like the addition of breadcrumbs, to be passed off as Irish. Coupled with misleading labelling this means Irish produce and cheap imports are not competing on a level playing field.
“Pork from the United States of America, lamb from New Zealand, chicken from South East Asia, lamb from Thailand, beef from Brazil and vegetables from Israel have all entered this country and been passed off on restaurant tables as Irish food or reprocessed here and sent out as Irish products.
“This causes significant problems, including the damage to consumer confidence. Irish consumers have been shopping blindfolded in our supermarkets due to the ambiguous labelling system. Fine Gael will change this through the introduction of the single food label.”