Adulteration, counterfeiting and deliberate mislabelling of food products pose a risk for our health, especially when allergenic or even toxic ingredients of unknown origin are used to replace more expensive ingredients. A clear label indicating the origin of ingredients helps preventing and tackling food scandals that endanger public health.
In Europe, food frauds are estimated to create damages up to 12 billion € per year, and the phenomenon has intensified in the last decades. The mandatory indication of origin on food labels helps preventing falsifications and unfair commercial practices that damage the single market as well as the national economies.
EU citizens have the right to be protected and to receive accurate information about the food they choose to purchase. In order to make informed choices, consumers need to know where the products are harvested and transformed, the origin of ingredients and more information about production and processing methods.
The primary goal of food labelling is to provide consumers with coherent and transparent information to enable them to make informed choices. Consumer’s demand for information on the place of origin of food is becoming increasingly important but under current regulation there is significant potential for consumers to be misled and exposed to food frauds.
At this stage, the origin must always be labelled for the following foods: honey; olive oil; fresh fruit and vegetables; fish; beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultry meat (fresh, chilled or frozen). For all other foods, origin labelling is only voluntary. Therefore, origin information is largely missing on many foods such as meat products, milk, dairy products, unprocessed foods and single-ingredient products (e.g. flour or sugar).
A complete indication of the country of origin of food increases the transparency of the product, and can be a useful tool to prevent food fraud. For this reason, we call on the European Commission to make the indication of the country of origin mandatory for all processed and unprocessed foods circulating in EU, and to introduce more strict traceability requirements under harmonised criteria in order to strengthen food safety and transparency throughout the food supply chain.
The full text of the petition has been published on the official register of the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/initiatives/open
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KEPKA is a non-governmental, non-profit, independent consumers' organization. Established in 1982, its main activities are raising consumers' conscience in Greece and protecting consumers' rights, informing consumers on products, services, economic interests, health, nutrition, environmental problems, human rights, ethics and urging the Greek Government, the European Commission and the European Parliament to develop a consumer policy towards the improvement of the quality of the consumers' and citizens' lives.
OCU (Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios) is a private independent non-profit organization that aims to promote and defend the interests of consumers. OCU action is aimed at guiding consumers in their choices, working to help them solve their problems within the consumption of different products and to assert their fundamental rights as consumers. Among its activities and services, OCU carries out advocacy actions defending consumers’ interests at national, European and global levels.
QUALIFICA/ oriGIn Portugal is an association between Municipalities, Producers Groups, Producers, experts, cultural groups and Rural development associations whose work aims to valuate, qualify, protect, promote and dignify the identity of the Portuguese Traditional Products and subsequently their producers and territory.
Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us. Since its beginnings, Slow Food has grown into a global movement involving millions of people in over 160 countries, working to ensure everyone has access to good, clean and fair food.
Společnost mladých agrárníků České republiky (SMA ČR) is an apolitical and non-profit voluntary organization established in 1999. It creates and support the best conditions for the development and the image of rural areas and modern agricultural businesses of young people. It represents and protects the interests and business of our members towards the state and other non govermental organisations in the Czech Republic and abroad. It provides counselling, education and promotion of our members activities. It cooperates with other organisations, enterpreneurs and goverment as well.
The Independent autonomous trade union of individual farmers “Solidarność” - established in 1981 - is the first and the oldest Polish Farmers' Union. It is called upon to represent and defend the dignity, rights, unity and professional interests of Polish farmers and family farms at national and international level. Solidarność operates for the benefit of the economic and social development of rural areas and agriculture, and works to ensure an appropriate level of profitability of the agricultural production.
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