On 12 May 2016 the European Parliament (EP) voted in favour of mandatory origin labelling for meat and milk products. The EP urgred the European Commission to come up with legislative proposals to make labelling of origin mandatory for processed meat and all kind of drinking milk and dairy products.
It appears that the European Commission is still of the view, that the benefits from new mandatory origin labelling requirements for meat and milk products do not clearly outweigh the costs and that voluntary labelling rules seem to be the most suitable solution.
On 20 May the European Commission adopted two reports on origin labeling. The first one concludes that for dairy products there would be an uneven impact on producers, making it more burdensome for some than for others. It also seems that consumers are not willing to pay more for the additional information. For the "minor meats", the report similarly concludes that compulsory origin labelling would imply operational costs which would not outweigh the benefits. The second report explores the need for consumers to be informed on the origin of unprocessed foods, single ingredient products and ingredients that represent more than 50 % of a food. It concludes that consumers are interested in origin labelling for all these food categories, but less so for food categories such as meat, meat products and dairy products. The report also looks at the costs and benefits of labelling rules, including the impact on the internal market and on international trade, and concludes that voluntary origin labelling, combined with existing mandatory origin labelling regimes for specific foods or categories of food, is the most suitable way forward. These reports will be transmitted to the European Parliament and the Council.
Some countries are just considering to regulate something similar on national level. It appears that such regulations would not comply with Artikel 39 § 2 of Re. 1169/2011. On the other hand it remains unclear as to whether the European Commission will be ready to raise objections.