Hilary Benn calls for clearer food labelling
Environment Secretary Hilary Benn today called on supermarkets and food companies to give shoppers clearer information on where their food comes from.
Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference, Hilary Benn said:
“When you buy a car you know its service history. When you buy a house you get a detailed survey. So why do we accept knowing so much less about what we are putting into our bodies? Under current European regulations, a pork pie processed in Britain from Danish pork can legitimately be labelled as a British pie. That’s a nonsense and it needs to change.”
He praised the quality and quantity of food produced by British farmers, saying that food security was a priority, and that environmental protection and increasing production went hand in hand:
“The idea that protecting our soil, our water, our habitats, our landscape, and the very climate on which all of these depend , and encouraging production, are in competition with each other is to miss the point completely. Why? Because our long-term food security depends on looking after those things.
“It’s about looking after the land today to sustain our capacity to produce food tomorrow.”
Mr Benn said that British farmers had a key role to play in striking this balance, describing them as “the producers of our food but also the stewards of our land.”
Page last modified: 06 January 2009
Page published: 06 January 2009