Anglo Beef Processors has denied it wants to sell beef from Ireland and the UK under a British Isles label.

A spokesman blasted the National Beef Association for making the claims two weeks ago, accusing it of "talking nonsense" and maliciousness. "ABP has invested more in the British beef industry than any other company," said the spokesman.

"It has always respected the convention that beef from Ireland is labelled as such. It would be against the law to do otherwise."

He urged the NBA to focus its attention on retailers that sourced beef from South America such as Tesco and Morrisons.