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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 12 Nov 2003

Vol. 574 No. 2

Written Answers. - Food Labelling.

Billy Timmins


187 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the action he has taken to date and the action he proposes to take in respect of the serious findings on beef origin and labelling contained in the IFA DNA test report on beef origin launched in September 2003. [26651/03]

While it is the case that beef imports to this country constitute a very small fraction of our overall production and exports, it is absolutely essential that EU labelling requirements are applied to all beef sold on the domestic market, irrespective of origin. My Department has been in contact with the FSAI concerning the issues raised in the IFA report with a view to ensuring compliance with EU beef labelling requirements.

Where there is evidence that these requirements are not being met, then the agency responsible for controlling the particular sector and for implementing the legislation should take the appropriate action. In relation to the beef slaughtering and cutting plants under the control of my Department, I have asked the Department's veterinary inspectorate to examine the procedures in place to ensure full compliance. It is a matter for the FSAI, in conjunction with the local authorities and health boards, to address any alleged breaches in the retail and catering sectors and I understand the FSAI is following up the matters raised.