Made in where? Euro MPs want to know where clothes come from

STRASBOURG, May 18, 2010 (AFP) – The European parliament on Tuesday called for clothes sold in Europe to clearly show the country of origin, in order to easily identify products from nations where production costs are low. EU Industry Commissioner Antoni Tajani stressed the need to prevent dumping on European markets. The EU MPs, meeting in Strasbourg, supported a proposal backed by the EU Commission to make such “Made in” labels obligatory, to prevent customers from being deceived into thinking a product was made in the EU when in fact it comes from a third country such as China or Pakistan.

The text will now go to representatives of the 27 EU member states for approval.

A similar scheme, which concerned all products and not just textiles, was blocked five years ago due to a lack of agreement among EU member states.

“The consumer has the right to know where a product comes from,” said Dutch Liberal MEP Toin Manders, the parliamentary rapporteur on the subject.

Such “Made in” labels are currently voluntary in the EU but in practice their use depends on national laws. In comparison, country of origin labelling is strictly regulated in, for example, the US, Canada and Japan.

The rule change w