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MEPs raise canned fish fears 19.04.11

DONEGAL-based MEP Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher has called for a change in labelling laws to let shoppers know whether or not canned fish has originated in Japan.
Concerns that shoppers could be buying radiation-contaminated fish from Japan because of shortcomings in EU labelling rules were raised recently at the European Parliament.
A senior member of the Fisheries Committee pointed out that EU rules on country-of-origin labelling only cover fresh fish, while canned fish and seafood need only display where processing took place, as opposed to where fish were caught. Italian MEP Guido Milana called on the European Commission to immediately improve the labelling of canned fish and other food that might have been contaminated by nuclear radiation.
“Radioactivity in Japanese seawater was recently at one million times the legal limit, so this is a matter of great concern,” said Mr Milana.
However, North West MEP Mr Gallagher, who is a member of the Fisheries Committee, dismissed any risk of contaminated fish from Japan ending up in Irish shops.
“If you look at the logistics of this, the time that any fish in cans would have been caught was well before any leakage from the Japanese disaster,” said the Fianna Fáil MEP. However he accepted the need to change labelling laws so that consumers are adequately informed on where their canned fish comes from.
“This should be dealt with as expeditiously as possible in order to reassure the consumer that they’re not buying contaminated fish from Japan,” he said.
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