THE European Parliament adopted a resolution expressing concern at the reported level of mislabelling of fishery products within EU countries, including Britain. According to a recent Commission study, the figure for white fish is at least six per cent.
Now the parliament is calling on member states to strengthen national controls, including on non-processed fish for restaurants and the catering sector, to tackle fraud, and it supports a strong traceability system from landing to consumption. Members believe a sound EU fish labelling policy would in turn boost consumer confidence and the economic development of the EU fishing industry.
It would appear that the catering sector is where the problem is most prevalent. A recent NGO study revealed alarming cases of mislabelling of fish served in restaurants in Brussels. The study was based on DNA testing and the results showed that about one third of the tested fish are mislabelled.
The parliament has also urged the European Commission to submit a feasibility report on options for an eco-label scheme for fishery and aquaculture products and address the need for minimum standards for eco-labelling.
It wants the review to begin to address the confusion caused by the current labelling requirements based on Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) areas.