Search icon

Commission keeps consumers in the dark

News Section Icon Published 01/03/2013

The recent and ongoing horsemeat scandal has brought to light a simple and ugly truth: we as consumers don't know what we are eating, where our food is from or how it was produced. Questions regarding the horses' welfare remain largely unanswered.

What many are not aware of is the fact that the Commission held a conference a year ago to launch its animal welfare strategy. The key message was that consumers need clear information on animal welfare for their purchase choices.

Yet the Commission will not introduce welfare labelling, as many Member States (including the UK) and those in the industry oppose mandatory method of production labelling and do not want consumers to know how animals are reared.

Philip Lymbery, CEO at Compassion in World Farming says: "In 20 years of campaigning and working in the animal welfare sector, never have I seen such hypocrisy and the seemingly intentional contradiction of two completely separate and clashing key messages.

"The Commission is fully aware of the fact that consumers need and want to know where their food comes from. But they will not consider labelling. This is completely duping consumers; you may as well blindfold them given that it is so difficult to make an informed decision when shopping for meat and dairy products."

If method of production labels were mandatory, shoppers would be able to make an informed choice, buying products such as meat and cheese based on method of production as well as price, taste and quality.

Compassion's Labelling Matters campaign is calling for method of production labelling. We want to actually empower consumers: so that they are able to make informed choices. After the recent horsemeat scandal, don't you want to know what you're eating?

Take Action:


You are using an outdated browser which we do not support. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please get in touch with us at We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. However, due to the high volume of correspondence that we receive, it may occasionally take a little longer. Please do bear with us if this is the case. Alternatively, if your query is urgent, you can contact our Supporter Engagement Team on +44 (0)1483 521 953 (lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).