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MEPs Demand Transparency on Animal Feed Content

06 February 2009

EU - In the final session of the February plenary MEPs gathered to discuss the issue of correct labelling for animal feeds. BSE, CJD and 'mad cow' disease stemmed directly from using contaminated animal feeds leading to widespread culls and fear of the unknown.

Parliament yesterday updated 2002 rules concerning animal feed labelling. Consumers and farmers alike will know better what they are eating.

Clearer labelling for safer content

Animal feed is produced mainly using a system whereby old animal tissue is converted in protein rich feed. During the 90s, this process was tainted severely as farmers purchasing rendered feed were not 100% clear on the contents. The spread of BSE came from the feeding of diseased rendered animals directly back to normally herbivorous cows, thus spreading the disease.

Building on an initial rule passed in 2002, the European Parliament have now made it clear that they want complete transparency in the labelling of animal feed.

Green MEP and rapporteur of the legislation Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf said: "We are talking about transparency in relation to feed to provide safe foodstuff for consumers. Customers of compound feed need to know exactly what they are being provided with."

Maintaining intellectual property rights

The new proposal includes the customer's ability to read a list of the ingredients of the feed in descending content percentages. The customer may also request further, more detailed content analysis of the feed within a range of plus or minus 15%. The Parliament agreed that this variant was necessary to protect the feed manufacturer's intellectual property rights.

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Health said: "The compromise package strikes the right balance between consumer protection and intellectual property rights...it marks a concrete step against the misleading of feed."

TheCattleSite News Desk



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