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Honest labels for Tesco and Morrisons

News Section Icon Published 23/09/2009

Shadow Environment Secretary, Nick Herbert MP said Tesco and Morrisons have pledged to spell out the origin of meat on their labels following the Tories' Honest Food Campaign.

Compassion in World Farming supports this campaign, as Nick Herbert acknowledged on 22 September on Chris Evan's BBC radio 2 show. We believe that meat and products containing meat- such as ready meals- should only be permitted to be labelled as British if the animal from which the meat was derived was born, reared and slaughtered in Britain. This is essential to prevent consumers from being misled and to ensure that British farmers are not undermined by imports produced to lower welfare standards.

However, for a label to be truly 'honest', it should include method of production. The country of origin is just one of the boxes to be ticked to make sure a product is high welfare. For example, many fattening pigs in UK are still reared in factory farm conditions and suffer because of mutilations and inability to express their natural behaviour. To be sure that pork meat is high welfare, consumers should be able to find information about how the pigs have been reared, e.g. free-range.

Many supermarkets are still using packaging that includes meaningless descriptions and images representing the 'outdoors' that could imply animals live a healthy, outdoor life. Clear and honest labelling will empower shoppers to make an informed choice. Labels which sell factory farmed chickens disguised as "natural" or "farm fresh" products can trick consumers into buying poor welfare meat.

Since 2004, eggs boxes by law must be labelled with the production method (caged, barn, free-range and organic) and this has led to a move away from caged eggs. Compassion in World Farming believes this scheme should be extended to all meat products.

We believe that farm animals should not and need not suffer

If you agree, please support us today. Lobbying for honest labelling on eggs is just one of the things that our supporters have helped us achieve so far. Your donation could help end all forms of farm animal cruelty and help us stop factory farming in its tracks.

We receive no government funding so rely entirely on the generosity of our supporters to prevent cruelty to farm animals all over the world.

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