Written Answers. - Food Labelling.

Pat Breen

Ceist:

32 Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food his proposals to inform consumers of the content of fast foods; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18904/03]

In July 2002 I established a food labelling group to examine the whole food labelling issue. The group reported in December 2002 making a series of recommendations. The issue of the content of fast foods was not specifically covered by the recommendations of the group. However, one of its recommendations was that consumer research should be carried out to ascertain the concerns of consumers in relation to labelling of food. As a result, I asked the consumer liaison panel to devise a strategy for consumer research on this issue. Following receipt of that strategy I provided funding for the research and the consumer liaison panel has sought tenders to carry it out. I expect that the research will commence shortly.

My primary aim is to protect consumer interest and to ensure that the consumer is properly informed. I will therefore consider the matter further when I receive the results of the research into consumers concerns on labelling.