Colin Breed MP for South East Cornwall & the Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs & Agriculture Germany now has a problem with BSE. Disappointingly, it has taken this spread of BSE and new incidences of CJD to kickstart our European partners into implementing the kind of precautionary measures that Britain has had in place for many years. Hopefully they can now learn the lessons of Britain's experience and implement these important precautions thoroughly and without delay. Unsurprisingly, following the horrifying experiences here in Britain, news of BSE on the continent has provoked public concern, especially as we now hear reports of increases in beef imports to Britain from Germany following the collapse of the German domestic market. Perhaps the greatest cause of this concern is the public perception that this German meat is untraceable: it enters Britain and cannot be identified. I believe that this public concern illustrates clearly the need for honest food labelling. It is not good enough that meat from Germany can be bought up in bulk at rock bottom prices, practically bankrupting our farmers on the way, and then processed in Britain and sold as British produce. Whatever the protestations of the big supermarkets that they will not allow non-British products to carry British meat logos, the fact remains that this German beef is entering the market and must be going somewhere into processing. We have not seen beef bearing a German flag so it seems subtler forms of marketing are at work. The average shopper, purchasing a traditional English cottage pie, might be forgiven for assuming that the meat inside would be British. Not everyone can be expected to understand the intricacies of labelling law and, while it may be that the German beef inside their pie is perfectly safe for consumption, their right to choose has been diminished by this misperception. Clearer labelling standards have long been a key concern for my party ­ and it appears now that both Conservatives and the government have taken on board the importance of full consumer information. I hope this will quickly be delivered and that retailers will take honest labelling as a positive marketing tool, rather than regarding it as a problem. {{NEWS }}