Germany's agriculture minister Ilse Aigner.


Brussels -

Germany's agriculture minister says the European Union must adopt tougher rules on labelling the ingredients of food products to regain consumer confidence amid the bloc's developing horsemeat scandal.

Ilse Aigner said on Monday at the start of talks with her European counterparts in Brussels that the 27-nation bloc must agree on binding origin disclosures for food product ingredients, starting with a better labelling of meat products.

Authorities across Europe have started doing random DNA checks after traces of horsemeat turned up in frozen supermarket meals such as burgers and lasagna beginning of January.

Austria backs the German initiative; others like Ireland say existing rules are sufficient but Europe-wide controls must be strengthened to address the problem of fraudulent labelling. - Sapa-AP