Irish farmers want meat imports to be labelled
Wednesday 10th April 2002 15:36
Hotels and restaurants in the Irish Republic may be forced to detail the origin of all meat being served to customers, under new regulations being demanded by farmers.
The 100,000-strong Irish Farmers Association (IFA) is pressing for the compulsory labelling of meat, following a survey that showed that almost a quarter of the beef eaten in the Republic last year was imported.
The survey, conducted by Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, found that 23% of beef, 31% of pig meat and 34% of poultry eaten in the republic last year was imported.
Most of the imported meat is used by the catering sector, mainly because it is cheaper than Irish meat.
But according to IFA president John Dillon, imports could not be traced back to the producer, as was the case with Irish meat, so there was no guarantee of its safety.
Some hotels and restaurants, he claimed, had been passing off the imports as Irish produce.