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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Horsemeat scandal may be just ‘tip of the iceberg’

LONDON’S Green MEP Jean Lambert has called for an immediate investigation into whether the revelation that horsemeat products originating from Romania ended up being sold as beef in the UK and other EU nations represents a deliberate fraud.

“Current EU labelling rules seem to have been ignored. Processed meat does not have to fully labelled – a glaring omission that means consumers can never really be sure what it is they’re eating,” Ms Lambert said today.

“This means the most recent revelations could be just the tip of the iceberg – and the only way for consumers to be sure that what they are eating is whet they think it is would be for strict labeling requirements to be adopted now.”

“The most recent revelations in this unfolding food safety scandal suggest EU food labeling rules just aren’t up to the job of protecting consumers – and Greens are calling on all political groups in Brussels to back an official enquiry into why.”

The first step in calling for the EU’s anti-fraud agency to look into the scandal – and in enacting any preventative new food labeling requirements – would be an emergency hearing of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee with the EU Commissioners for Food Safety and Agriculture, something Ms Lambert and Green colleagues have called for today.

Ms Lambert added: “Full traceability along long supply-chains is essential if we are to avoid future food safety scandals, and the suppliers must take responsibility for making sure labeling is correct and complete.”

“Now must be the time to tighten up labelling requirements accordingly.”