Discrepancies have been revealed in about a third of 39 identically labelled food products sold in Hungary and in western Europe in the latest quality tests ordered by Farm Minister Sándor Fazekas, the ministry said on Tuesday.
The discrepancies characterising products generally consumed in the summer “confirm the existence of double quality standards within the European Union”, the ministry said.
The National Food Chain Safety Office (Nébih) tested 23 packaged products used for barbecues, eight alcoholic drinks and fresh drinks and eight types of vegetable and fruit over the past two months. The list of ingredients shown on the packaging differed in the case of four food products and two alcoholic drinks, and sensory tests showed differences in the case of five packaged products despite identical ingredients shown on the packaging, the ministry said. All vegetables and fruit surveyed met the current quality requirements but significant differences were reported in the case of champignon sold in Hungary and in western Europe, it added.
In March this year, Nébih tested 68 comparable Hungarian and Austrian products, 18 of which showed minor differences. The national federation of food processors rejected in a statement at the time that the differences indicated discrimination against Hungarian consumers. Sensory tests yielded excellent results in both groups, they said.
The Hungarian government has drafted a bill seeking to compel multinational companies to declare differences in quality or ingredients to consumer information on the labels of products sold in Hungary. The European Union is examining the bill, state secretary for food chain supervision Róbert Zsigó said on May.
As we wrote before, prime ministers of the Visegrad Group countries have given authorisation to Slovak PM Robert Fico to discuss with European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker complaints concerning inferior quality food products distributed by western companies in the region.
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Photo: Daily News Hungary