Cattle Council of Australia has represented the views of more than 45-thousand beef producers at the Senate Inquiry into the Definitions of Meat and other animal products.
Cattle Council of Australia President, Markus Rathsmann appeared before the inquiry hearing to stress the need for reform of labelling policy to protect the term ‘beef’ from misappropriation and ensure consumers can make informed decisions.
“This issue has been raised by our members as one of concern for some time, as is exemplified by the response that this inquiry has generated from all across Australia,” Mr Rathsmann said.
“Legislation and regulation regarding the labelling and marketing of these products has not kept pace with the advancements in technology and that provides a disservice to Australian consumers.
“It is reasonable that Australian consumers expect products labelled with the term ‘beef’ or have images of cattle on the label, come from cattle.
“Cattle Council believes all foods should be described in a way that fully informs consumers about the products they buy and eat.
“Cattle Council supports reform that ensures all alternative proteins are accurately labelled, including blended products and lab-cultured meat.
“Clear labelling of lab-cultured meat, plant-based proteins and blended protein products ensures clear differentiation from naturally grown meat products and lets customers make informed choices.
“Using the term ‘beef’ implies the product has all the health benefits of eating beef.
“It is not reasonable for beef producers to pay for the research that supports their quality and health claims, and then have to pay for work to disprove or distance their product from the claims of alternative proteins.
“Simply put, products that don’t have any beef in them should not be able to use the term beef or imagery of cattle.
“Cattle Council of Australia commends the Chair, Senator Susan McDonald and committee for investigating this issue further. “