Just under a fifth of foods labelled as “local” in England and Wales are “undoubtedly false”, a new government study has found.

An inspection of 558 items in 300 shops, restaurants, markets and factories by Local Government Regulation officials revealed 18% of false local claims and a further 14% which were unverifiable.

Misleading labels included "Welsh lamb" from New Zealand, "Somerset butter" from Scotland and "Devon ham" originating from Denmark.

"Many people want to support local businesses or choose food that has not travelled from the other side of the world, so it is vital that they have accurate information to help them make their choices," said LGR chairman Paul Bettison. 

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