November 14: Dairy labelling laws must be clearer

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NEARLY TEN years after The Yorkshire Post’s award-winning Clearly British campaign helped to close a legal loophole which had enabled meat imports to be labelled as British, it is now clear that similar rules need to be applied to the beleaguered dairy industry.

At a time when this sector of farming is facing its greatest financial crisis for a generation, the time has come for country of origin labelling laws to be extended to butter, cheese and other dairy produce so consumers can begin to enjoy far greater transparency.

As this newspaper’s Clearly British campaign, and countless other initiatives, have already demonstrated, the public desire to support Yorkshire and UK farmers has never been greater – this is borne out by the increased awareness in recent years about the importance of labelling and the sheer number of people who supported this summer’s agricultural shows across the county.

However this support is being eroded by a mish-mash of confusing and convoluted labels which still allow milk produced overseas to be sold in local supermarkets with a UK logo simply because it has been processed here.

This unacceptable state of affairs totally undermines Britain’s milk producers and whose businesses are being compromised, still further, by the intransigence of the European Commission over the implementation of clearer rules. Why the reluctance? Its own survey revealed that 84 per cent of EU residents thought that the origin of milk should be specified on labels.

With the EU renegotiation now at the top of the political agenda, David Cameron should use this dialogue to secure a better deal for farmers. In the meantime, consumers can help to the lead the campaign by challenging shops, supermarkets, pubs and restaurants to ensure that there is clearer labelling on dairy produce. Not only will they be supporting UK farmers in their hour of need, but it will force the Government – and EU bureaucrats – to revise their rules. It’s that pure and simple.

An evil coward: Airstrike targets ‘Jihadi John’

IF the Islamic State’s chief executioner Mohammed Emwazi – the evil coward behind the mask – has, in fact, been killed by an American air strike, his death will mark a significant victory for the intelligence services and trans-Atlantic co-operation.

Even though Parliament’s vote in 2013 continues to prevent the deployment of UK forces in Syria, the Government should be commended for the way in which it has worked with its counterparts from the USA to kill the barbarous architect of the IS propaganda machine.

This, after all, is a terrorist who was raised in Britain before becoming one of the masterminds behind a terrorist network that has beheaded, amongst others, aid workers like Yorkshire-born David Haines, and also Alan Henning, as well as hundreds of Muslims who have found themselves at odds with the extremist ideology peddled by Emwazi whose British accent prompted the ‘Jihadi John’ sobriquet.

No tears should be shed for this monster. For, as the Prime Minister said so eloquently, these humanitarian charity workers from the UK were “the best of British” and deserve to be remembered long after Islamic State’s murderers are “forgotten”.

Few will dispute this sentiment. The challenge now is determining how best to neutralise the threat to world peace that is posed by IS and its acolytes, and whether this is possible without Britain being dragged further into another protracted war in the Middle East. Either way, international co-operation, and clarity of purpose, will be key components to lasting peace in Syria and Iraq.

A Day in the life: Post photo chief is in the frame

THE Yorkshire Post is rightly proud of its campaigning and investigative reportage, and the countless awards that many of the newspaper’s journalists have won for their agenda-setting work. Yet few provide greater satisfaction than the illustrious Fellowship that the prestigious Royal Photographic Society have bestowed upon photographer, picture editor, assistant editor and friend to all Ian Day FRPS.

This august accolade has particular personal poignancy for Mr Day because it comes two months after the death of his much missed father John, and to whom he credits with inspiring a lifelong love of photography.

But Mr Day is the first to acknowledge that this accolade would not be possible without the iconic imagery captured by the Post’s unrivalled photographic team. Their work remains indicative of the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.