South Africa’s government is considering introducing tougher labelling laws for meat products to ensure ingredients are identified properly.
According to reports in the local media, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said in press briefing yesterday (20 March) that his department would publish proposals to amend current labelling regulations this week. He added that the proposed new rules would put in place stronger requirements for processors to label meat products, with details of all animals from which they were derived.
The proposals follow the revelation earlier this month that meat products on sale in butchers’ shops and supermarkets in South Africa contained meat that had not been declared on the label, including donkey, kangaroo and water buffalo. A report by the University of Stellenbosch found that 68% of products were incorrectly labelled.
South Africa’s National Consumer Commission is currently investigating the companies implemented in the contamination scandal to establish whether regulations had been violated.
The Department of Trade and Industries believes the incorrectly labelled meat products were mostly imported from other countries. It has insisted that no food safety risk has been identified.