Recent stories over the increase in supply of halal and kosher meat, and the lack of consumer information available in many outlets, would in the past have inspired perhaps an Early Day Motion in the Commons – MPs registering their disgruntlement, then moving on as it faded from memory. In yet another sign of the increasingly bullish backbench culture, this debate has instead generated an amendment to actual legislation.
Philip Davies, the doughty Shipley MP, has swiftly tabled the following amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill:
Goods to be as described: meat products
To move the following Clause:
(1) ‘All products containing halal and kosher meat shall be labelled as such at the point of sale by retail and food outlets. ’
(2) ‘ A food outlet means anywhere where food is served to public.’
Readers will no doubt have their own views on the rights and wrongs of the matter (personally, I couldn’t care less if my food is technically kosher or halal, but I would like to know the animal was stunned before slaughter) but it’s interesting and encouraging to see MPs become more ambitious in their response to what is certainly a widespread concern. A more responsive parliament will, over the course of hundreds and thousands of issues, start to chip away at public disillusionment.
I’m told the amendment should be heard on Tuesday, and Davies feels there’s a decent chance of it going through. It was introduced hurriedly last night, so the official list of signatories may grow before the debate itself – to my knowledge they are so far:
Philip Davies – Con, Shipley
Philip Hollobone – Con, Kettering
Julian Sturdy – Con, York Outer
Sir Gerald Howarth – Con, Aldershot
Andrew Turner – Con, Isle of Wight
Jim Fitzpatrick – Lab, Poplar and Limehouse