UFU Watch: EU Moves on Food and Feed Controls - Brussels Briefing
The European Commission promised in its White Paper on Food Safety two years ago to deliver a new approach to EU Food and Feed Controls.
This long-awaited proposal has now been drafted and provides a valuable opportunity to comment on its content.
UFU Brussels Office official Beverley Wilson recently participated in a two-day consultation exercise with other industry stakeholders, where Commission officials co-ordinated a thorough analysis of the draft text. Interested parties have now been invited to submit written comments before the end of August.
The new regulation will cover all areas of food and feed safety including animal and plant health, consumer protection and information, animal welfare and some aspects of environmental protection. The draft text includes chapters on the following key areas of control:
l Methods of sampling & analysis.
l Emergencies & contingency plans.
l Import controls.
l Financing of controls, i.e. levying of fees.
l Health certificates.
l Registration of food & feed businesses.
l Equivalence with third countries.
l Training of control staff.
l Enforcement measures and sanctions
Some animal welfare controls will be covered by this proposal however the extent of the inclusion of such elements remains unclear
The most contentious issue during the discussions was who should pay for safety guarantees. All Stakeholders agreed that, by opting for a status quo, Commissioner Byrne had ducked the debate about harmonising the funding for food safety controls. He proposes that Member States should retain the discretion to reclaim costs from the industry by way of inspection fees and levies, thereby exaggerating the competitive distortions within the internal market. …