§ Mrs. Ann Winterton
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance the Government issues to consumers wishing to avoid imported beef when it is included in products that do not make the country of origin clear. 
§ Ms Blears
I have been asked to reply.
The Food Standards Agency, with the support of the Consumers Association, has published a leaflet for consumers on bovine spongiform encephalopathy and beef. The leaflet advises that, for processed food, if the country of origin is shown on the label, it usually refers to the country where the product was processed, and not necessarily where the beef or other ingredients came from. This is one of the reasons why the FSA is pressing for improved European Union rules on country of origin labelling.