Dáil Éireann - Volume 614 - 16 February, 2006
Written Answers. - Food Industry.
Ms McManus Ms McManus
35. Ms McManus asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the action she intends to take to protect the consumer here from unknowingly purchasing food of non-Irish origin described as Irish; her views on the concept of substantial transformation and the limits of its applicability; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5927/06]
Mary Coughlan Mary Coughlan
Mary Coughlan: A range of actions have already been undertaken by my Department in implementing the recommendations of the food labelling group which examined in detail the complex area of food labelling. One of the more important recom mendations which has been implemented is the centralisation of overall responsibility for the enforcement of food labelling legislation in the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Food business operators who mislead consumers into believing that food which is not of Irish origin is Irish may be committing an offence under existing food labelling legislation and any such instances should be brought to the attention of the FSAI.
The issue of substantial transformation, whereby products following import into the EU may be described after processing as a product of a particular member state, is of particular concern to me. I have raised this issue directly with the Commission on a number of occasions and, indeed, was in contact with the EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, Mr. Kyprianou, again last month about the matter. I understand that the Commission intends to publish a consultation paper in March addressing consumer concerns on food labelling. In the context of this review my Department will continue to pursue this matter.
Question No. 36 answered with Question No. 31.
Dáil Éireann 614 Written Answers. Food Industry.