Countries move to strengthen labeling laws

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa and BERN, Switzerland – Government officials in South Africa and Switzerland are introducing legislation that would require food labels to more clearly state product ingredients.

A recent study by the Univ. of Stellenbosch in South Africa found meat products were incorrectly labeled, according Donkey, kangaroo and water buffalo meat were found in products labeled as beef. Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the Department of Trade and Industry would strengthen labeling regulations so that meat labels indicate the protein source. Additionally, Davies asked the National Consumer Commission to investigate the problem and determine whether any laws were broken. Officials in the department believe the mislabeled meat products were mostly imports.

In Switzerland, legislators are debating proposed food legislation that will require a country-of-origin label on all pre-packaged products. Product designation and ingredients also will be required on the label. The government may grant processed products an exemption from the COOL requirement. Additionally, companies may list a geographic area, such as the European Union, in place of a country of origin.

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