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GORDON HENDERSON MP

FOR SITTINGBOURNE & SHEPPEY

Press Release: 24.02.09

Date: 24th February 2009

Subject: Gordon welcomes food labelling proposals.

Gordon Henderson urged residents across Swale to sign up to a new petition calling for clearer labelling on food packaging.

The “Honest Food” campaign launched by Conservatives seeks to end misleading claims and ensure compulsory ‘country of origin’ labelling. This will mean that meat products, such as bacon, sausages and ready meals, which carry a British label can only use meat that comes from animals born and bred in Britain. Conservatives are proposing a change in the law to make this compulsory.

Research into everyday products on supermarket shelves has indentified Tesco chicken dinners “produced in the UK” use chicken from Thailand; Marks and Spencer’s corned beef sandwiches emblazoned with the Union flag use meat from Brazil; and goods from the Birdseye “Great British Menu” range are made with imported meat.

The petition can be signed online at: www.honestfoodcampaign.com. The campaign has been backed by famous chefs, Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, Clarissa Dickson Wright, Prue Leith and Anthony Worrall Thompson.

Gordon Henderson said:
‘I support this campaign for two reasons; the first is that people have a right to know where their food comes from. Currently there is nothing in food labelling regulation to stop food from abroad that is only processed here from being labelled as British. That is simply unacceptable.

‘Secondly, the current labelling laws harm our local farmers, because there are many people who buy products thinking they are locally produced, when in fact they are often imported.

‘I am delighted that David Cameron has said that he would change the law to prevent unclear and misleading labelling so only meat from animals reared in Britain could carry a British label. Shoppers in Swale would see clearly where their food comes from so they can choose British food with confidence.’

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