Monday, February 16, 2009

Honest food? How about honest politics, Spam?

It has long been the case that foreign-bred and raised meat can be imported to Britain and, as long as it is packaged here, it can be marked as "British".

Via email, your humble Devil has learned that the Tories are now mounting a campaign against this anomaly...
When you buy a 'British' pork pie, you probably assume that the pork comes from Britain.

In fact, meat from abroad can be imported into Britain to be processed into bacon, sausages and pies which can then be labelled to suggest they are British.

We think this is dishonest. People have a right to know where their food comes from. Meat labelled 'British' should be born and bred in Britain, raised to our high welfare standards.

Consumers should be free to choose food from any country, but real choice requires real information.

So the Conservatives are demanding honest 'country of origin' labelling to restore trust and allow people to choose British food with confidence.

The Tories are even urging you to sign a petition to the House of Commons. Well, this is all very worthy, of course. There's just one snag...

This particular area of food labelling comes under the EU, so there is absolutely fuck all point in sending a petition to the House of Commons.

Sure, our government could insist that retailers put an extra "made in Britain" mark on their produce, but this is going to confuse consumers and hardly counts as clear labelling, does it now? Besides, we don't really want to be encouraging these power-hungry cunts to "gold-plate" EU legislation any more than they already do.

So, how is Cameron going to persuade the EU to change its rules?—it won't be by sending a petition to our regional government, that's for sure. Mind you, since the Tories' campaign doesn't mention the EU anywhere, I assume that they are hoping that they can gloss over this inconvenient fact—and then they will blame NuLabour for not being able to deliver this "right to know". And then, when the Tories get into power, this campaign will, I am sure, be quietly dropped...

Whilst I think that "honest food" is a good thing, I would rather prefer to see some honest politics, frankly.

22 comments:

Kevin Boatang said...

Well, either way the Boatang and Demetriou have now moved to our new site, please visit

http://www.boatangdemetriou.com/

for our latest stuff. Devil, if you feel like updating us on your roll it would be much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

The "made in" problem has our Europrats fingerprints on it. Remember when Asda bought Parma Ham direct from the producers (in Parma, obviously) and sliced it in Blighty it magically ceased to be Parma Ham and this was upheld by the Euro Weeny Court. (It was never explained what it turned into). So I've little optimism that the Europrats will allow any nation not already into serious garlic and frogsleg ingestion to get away with this sort of thing.
TTFN

neil craig said...

What exactly is dishonest about a pig having been born in Denmark. Next we will find that British Sherry comes from grapes grown south of Watford & as for virgin wool jumpers...

"Honest food" is a singularly dishonest title since the only real lobby the Tories are trying to keep on board is not the customer but the British farmer (& the British Dept of Agriculture subsidy & regulation clerk who outnumbers him).

ukipwebmaster said...

Thanks Chris

Fred Z said...

Neil Craig is right, it's just thinly disguised stupid protectionism.

DavidG said...

Your 'thinly disguised protectionism' is my 'choice'. I may choose to support british farmers whose standards of animal welfare are higher than those of Denmark and the rest of the EU - and for that, they are finding it increasingly difficult to compete. Not only trhat, I may prefer to eat british chicken and don;t want to be deceived with a load of bollocks dressing up chicken from some god-forsaken place like Thailand as British just becuase it was packed here. Whats wrong with that ?

Anonymous said...

Bit confused here. In Spain if you buy raw meat, like a joint of porkloin or a packet of lamb chops or a couple of sirloin steaks the label says where it was born raised, killed and butchered.
Can be a bit of a geography lesson as well, like Ireland,Germany,France and Spain respectively followed in the case of rump by 2 weeks unopened in my fridge, cos they are not experts at hanging the stuff. Usually it is well worth waiting for. If Spain can do it why not UK?

Anonymous said...

british food for british workers!

Idle Pen Pusher said...

Time to leave yet?

Idle Pen Pusher

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Neal Asher said...

But that the pies or sausages are 'made in Britain' is factually correct. Do we now want labels to tell us where each and every ingredient comes from? Start down that road and we'll end up with twice the amount of packaging to get it all on along with the 'may contain nuts' nonsense.

Letters From A Tory said...

Cameron is lining up a few measures that the EU won't like, and I think he'll go through with them.

Maybe he's trying to provoke a bad reaction and then start some tough negotiations with them?

The Penguin said...

We need to tell Brussels to stick it's rules and regulations where the sun never shines, and leave.

The Penguin

max the impaler said...

With 'the Emperor' on this one.And yes, any more of this excessive labeling and its going to be a weekly skip collection not a wheelie needed.Would like to see some more ingredients on white wine though.Some of these bastards give me a real hangover.

Michael J McCormick said...

Lets keep it simple and try an experiment. All uncooked meat bred, raised, killed & prepared in the UK carries a Union Jack. Perhaps the Tories could just start a campaign to persuade Tesco etc to do that.

Tim said...

'Thinly disguised stupid protectionism' would be making farmers adopt certain standards here, then forcing imports to conform to those standards.

Creating a system of clear marking (though of course the ins and outs of it can be slightly tricky) is promoting choice and freedom of information.

Wolfie said...

Since a pound spent on British produce is more likely to find its way back round to buying something I produce, I would rather buy British, all else being equal.
I can't do that if I don't know where the combination of egg white, bread crumbs and porcine connective tissue contained within the golden pastry casing originates.

fewqwer said...

The British Pound Sterling is legal tender only in Britain.

The labelling issue is not about protectionsim; it's about freedom.

Rightwinggit said...

Protectionism? Bollocks.

It's about making a concious choice.

If I choose to buy something because someone in the same country has produced it and will therefore benefit from it, that is my decision.

Anybody who tells me I can't do that, runs the risk of waking up in a fucking ambulance.

Kendra said...

I'm sure glad eggs are labeled here, altho I guess I'd know by the price which are Swiss even if not labeled. They may be twice the price but 10 TIMES better than imports!

Labeling regulations are getting out of hand, though, and also in the U.S. the other extreme can exist. Don't know if it's actually so, but I understand Big Agri wanted it to be illegal for milk producers to label that their milk WASN'T produced Bovine Growth Hormone.

It also is a question of being ALLOWED to say what the hell you're selling as well as being REQUIRED to say what some "study" has deemed necessary.

For me, it's choice. I like to buy organic but there's not a lot of choice. Sometimes the non are better (tomatoes). Same with GM - rather than banning, let consumers decide!

Adrian P said...

Forget the BBC Listen in to Radio Truth Radio Here

wonkotsane said...

"Made in Britain" is bollocks anyway. I live in Shropshire and parts of the Irish Republic, France, Belgium and the Netherlands are closer to me than some parts of Scotland. If I want to cut down on food miles then I want to know it's English.