The European Union Council of Ministers has widened the scope of the EU's geographical indication legislation, that provides protection to names marketing traditionally made foodstuffs from defined regions in Europe.

By a majority vote (with Denmark opposed and the UK abstaining), the council amended regulation EEC/2081/92 allowing for applications to be made for the protection of mustard pastes and uncooked and unstuffed pastas.

Said a European Parliament note: "Enhancing the standing of such products by means of an identifiable label could genuinely help to boost economic and social development in the regions concerned."

Ministers also amended the legislation to allow producer groups to insist that protected products should be packaged solely in their home geographical area.