Monday, 23rd June 2008
Clear guidelines required for food labelling
I was very glad to see the Sunday Herald looked at the issue of food labelling (Local labels could aid consumers in beating the world food crisis, 22 June).
The people of Scotland recognise the quality of home-grown produce and want to buy food that is genuinely Scottish. They want food that has come lock, stock and barrel from this country and has never left our shores.
It is too easy for products to be mis-labelled, or not labelled at all, in an attempt to dupe consumers. For example Scottish Smoked Salmon and Smoked Scottish Salmon can mean entirely different things, with the former being foreign salmon smoked in Scotland and the latter being Scottish salmon potentially smoked and packaged abroad. Consumers are in the dark about which country is really responsible for our produce.
In February this year, I highlighted the issue of food labelling when visiting the Asda supermarket in Chesser, Edinburgh, as I believe it is in consumers’ interests to label clearly food with its country of origin and in the case of meat, the country of its slaughter.
It’s about time that producers were given clear guidelines for labelling and I welcome the news that the Scottish Government intends to take action on this issue.
Struan Stevenson MEP