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Proposals would also apply to symbols representing Scotland, Northern Ireland and WalesIndustry experts blasted the plans as ‘crazy’ and said it would cause chaosWould also annoy shoppers who buy British products to support farmers
Union flags could be banned from packets of meat if the EU imposes strict new labelling rules.
The potential ban would also apply to logos or flags representing Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Any such move would infuriate retailers and farmers. It would also annoy shoppers, who are keen to support British farms where animal welfare standards are among the best in the world.
The controversial plans were blasted as ‘crazy’ by retail leaders yesterday while the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it would cause chaos with ‘hundreds if not thousands’ of products being affected.
Draft plans outlined by the European Commission (EC) would apply to most meat products, including unprocessed pork, poultry, sheep and goat.
The proposals also stipulate that only the name of the country where the meat was reared should be used on the packaging.
Officials in the EU say the new code would help trace the supply chain of the products being purchased.
Lindsay Harris, Deputy Director of Food and Material Security and Standards at Defra told trade magazine, The Grocer: ‘The draft proposals revealed this week suggest other voluntary information such as symbols like a flag would not be allowed at all.
‘We don’t think place of slaughter is relevant and will be pushing for the proposals to be changed to show just the place where the meat was reared.’
‘There are many examples where descriptions other than the member state are used, such as a flag. I imagine this will be a major concern to a number of states.’
Andrea Martinez-Inchausti, deputy director of food policy at the British Retail Consortium, told the magazine: ‘Surely it is a good thing for products such as British pork chops to flag up their country of origin with something like a Union Jack. It’s not something to be vilified.’
She added that the impact of the EC’s plans could be even more severe if it decides to push ahead with proposals for all products containing meat ingredients to be subject to the new mandatory country-of-origin rules.
‘If every product in a supermarket has to carry the place of slaughter of every single meat ingredient, it is going to cause chaos. It’s crazy.’
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