Thursday, 6 September 2012

Labelling Matters

The RSPCA believe that all animal products should be labelled based on how they were produced so that consumers can make an informed choice about what they buy therefore they are calling for action at EU level for better labelling for food produce.  Many products imply that food is high welfare by the use of certain words ("farm fresh," "natural" or "high quality") or pictures (free range animals, sunshine) however, the small print shows otherwise.  The word "farm fresh" alongside an image of a gazing cow couldn't be further from the truth.

Next time you are out shopping if you sport an example of a misleading label and have a smart phone, take a photo of the label, including the bar code and send it to along with the date the photo was taken, shop, town and country you saw the product.  Also include your name, country of residence and daytime phone number if you are happy for RSPCA to contact you with any queries.

Chicken meat labels: Pre-packed whole chicken, chicken breasts, chicken drumsticks e.t.c.
Pig meat labels - Pre-packed sausages, ham, pork e.t.c.
Cow' milk labels - bottled milk, cheese, yoghurt e.t.c.

Look out for words like "farm fresh", "natural" or "high quality" and for images of free range animals, sunshine, trees, fields or attractive rural scenes.  Remember that if a product really is higher welfare it will be part of a certification scheme such as RSPCA Freedom Food, Soil Association (in the UK) or Label Rouge (in France)

If you do find other examples of misleading labels please send them as well.

Photos will be used to put pressure on policy makers to enforce existing rules and to introduce better legislation so that labels make it clear how food is produced.

As well as labels found on products sold in the UK, the RSPCA are also keen to see labels from other EU countries.

Please submit all photos of labels no later than 30 September 2012.

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