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EP vote on fish labelling

12 September 2012
by BEUC -- last modified 12 September 2012

In a disappointing vote, the European Parliament rejected the new rules on fish labelling proposed by the European Commission as part of the EU Common Fisheries Policy reform.


BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation regrets that MEPs failed to support consumer-friendly fish labelling rules that would have helped EU consumers to make informed choices when buying fish and processed fish products.

Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC said:

"Consumers who want to support artisanal fishermen who land their catch within 24 hours need to know the date when fresh fish was caught, not when it was landed. Date of landing is meaningless to consumers as will not help them distinguish between fish caught a day ago by a small fisherman or several weeks ago by an industrial vessel".

"Consumers do not want to trawl for information about the fish they buy, whether it is fresh or processed. With today's vote, when buying tinned fish, they still won't be able to find the specific name  of the fish ,  its origin  or production method on the label."

"Many consumers want to buy fish sourced in a sustainable way but the proliferation of labels makes it impossible for them to distinguish truthful labels from bogus ones. An EU eco-label  for fish products can help address that situation if the criteria are independently set, strict enough and regularly updated to promote ever more sustainable fishing practices."

BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation has a membership of 42 well respected, independent national consumer organisations from 31 European countries (EU, EEA and applicant countries). BEUC acts as the umbrella group in Brussels for these organisations and its main task is to represent its members and defend the interests of all Europe's consumers.

BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation