Cape Town - The Department of Trade and Industry will this
week publish proposals to strengthen the labelling of meat products so that
their ingredients - such as beef‚ donkey or water buffalo - are identified more
This follows the scandal over wrongly labelled meat which
initially erupted in Europe but then became a local issue when research
conducted by the University of Stellenbosch found that meat products found in
supermarkets did not correctly label the type of meat that they contained.
Unidentified meat such as donkey‚ kangaroo and water buffalo
was found in products labelled for example beef.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at a media
briefing Wednesday that the department intended to strengthen the regulations
regarding meat labelling so that labels indicated the animal from which the
meat was derived.
The proposals to amend the regulations will be published in
the government gazette later this week‚ he said.
He stressed the importance of respecting the rights of
consumers to know what they were eating‚ especially where consumers insisted on
halaal or kosher food products. "The existing labelling requirements are
perhaps not strong enough‚" he said. "There is perhaps a need for
Davies said he had also asked the National Consumer
Commission to investigate the parties involved in introducing wrongly labelled
meat products into the South African market and to determine whether there had
been any violations of regulations.
The view of the department was that the incorrectly labelled
meat products were mostly imports that had entered SA through the international
trade in processed meat products.
It did not appear that there had been any health safety
issues related to the meat labelling scandal.
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