EU: EU Commission tightens up egg labelling law
All eggs will be compelled to carry a label stating which farming method has been used to produce them under proposals adopted today(Thursday) by the European Commission. At present there is a voluntaryscheme for egg labelling but the Commission said that pressure fromconsumers made it necessary that maximum information be carried as a matter of law. The requirement will apply to all eggs marketed in the EU, including those imported. "This compulsory labelling scheme will back up the animal welfare rules we agreed last year to protect laying hens" said the EU Agriculture Commissioner, Franz Fischler.Under the new proposals, the farming method will have to be indicated on "class A" eggs and on packs of "class A" eggs via a distinguishing mark or a code designating the producer's distinguishing number. The exact form of the labels has still to be determined but the Commission said they could be similar to the existing voluntary indications which are: "free range," "semi-intensive," "deep litter," "perchery" and "cage production."At present it is mandatory to provide the name of the trader, the number of the packing centre, the quality, weight grading and number of eggs, date of minimum durability, appropriate storage recommendations, information as to refrigeration/preservation in the case of grade B eggs and the packing date for eggs of other grades and for imported eggs. Producers may add further information such as price, sell-by date, origin and sales promotional matter and these may continue to be put on packs.
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