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DEFRA's Proposed Changes to Food Labelling Opposed by DBT

A proposal to alter the labelling of British produce raised by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has raised concerns amongst cabinet counterparts at the Department for Business and Trade.   

Secretary of State, Steve Barclay, has recommended new labelling for UK produce, highlighting its comparatively higher quality and compliance with higher welfare standards. A response to concerns from British farmers fearing competition from lower-quality imported produce, the proposals have met with resistance from adjacent ministerial department, DBT.  

In particular, Business and Trade secretary, Kemi Badenoch has cited the cost of this scheme to producers and consumers as well as the likelihood it contravenes World Trade Organisation rules that prevent discrimination of imports as causes for concern.  

The proposals follow the recent cessation of trade talks with Canada over the UK’s refusal to accept hormone-treated, Canadian beef and have emerged against a backdrop of disquiet amongst farmers in both the UK and Europe. 

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