The Irish government is being threatened with legal action by the European Commission over its alleged failure to extend the regulations imposed by the EU product liability directive to include primary agricultural foodstuffs, such as meat, cereals, fruit, vegetables and game. Ireland had until last December to make the changes to their law, which would have allowed Irish food manufacturers, processors and caterers to pass on liability for defective products to farmers and growers, where they could show that they were at fault. Dublin has two months to explain to Brussels how it will comply or maybe face a referral to the ECJ.

By Keith Nuthall, correspondent