The EU parliament has proposed clearer labelling of processed meat. Photo: Heiko Junge/NTB scanpix/SCANPIX
In the wake of the horse meat scandal in 2013, when several beef products in countries across Europe were found to contain horse meat, MEPs have called on the European Commission to investigate legislative proposals to state the country of origin of meat used in processed foods such as meatballs or lasagne.
"After the horse meat scandal, it is now up to us to regain consumers' trust. We are asking the commission to come up with a legislative proposal with a mandatory country of origin labelling, because this will help to enhance transparency and to provide clear and complete information to the consumers," said Italian Christian Democrat MEP and environment committee chairman Giovanni La Via in a press release.
The Local reported that Ikea was forced to stop sales of its Swedish meatballs in at least 15 countries after Czech inspectors found horse meat in the iconic in-store restaurant fare. The meatballs were back on the menu a month later.
Swedish food company Findus was also forced to recall its frozen single-portion lasagne after samples were found to contain 90 percent horse meat.
"I think country-of-origin labels are important, because it gives people a greater opportunity to buy environmentally friendly products and to ensure humane animal keeping practices," Swedish Social Democrat MEP Jytte Guteland said in a statement to newswire TT.
The EU resolution was passed by 460 votes to 204, with 33 abstentions.