Monday, June 21, 2010

If the chicken on my plate comes from Thailand I don't want to eat it

Great to see this week that the EU Parliament has finally proposed country of origin labelling for meat, poultry, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables. This means that as we roam around the supermarket we will know if the food we're buying is coming from countries where production standards are far lower than the EU, let alone where scary animal welfare issues and large scale factory farming is the order of the day. I've been on these farms, and they're not pretty. The experience turned me into someone who is cross eyed from reading tiny print on the back of packaging and endlessly despairing of poor quality food being passed of as local or Irish. Within my food choices, I feel that having knowledge of how animals are farmed and killed also brings responsibility.

The most important thing about this proposal is that it encompasses meat, poultry and fish when used as an ingredient in processed food. This is great news and obviously going to be a major headache for the makers of pizzas, chicken nuggets and the like. To say the least, they are not in favour of country of origin labelling - it has obvious cost issues but more importantly, their chicken kievs made in China might become suddenly less attractive than chicken kievs made in Monaghon. My cynical husband pointed out that while it's hard for the giant food processors to lobby every single member of the EU parliament, the Council of Ministers is another matter, and this proposal has to go to them before it's adopted. Let the lobbying begin. If the EU wants to preserve a culture where people live on the land and producing food they need to vote it through.
Lets hope good sense prevails, watch this space.

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