European Food Authority may be on its way

The European Commission (EC) has published its views on the future of food safety within the EU. Its primary proposal is the establishment of a European Food Authority.

The White Paper on Food Safety sets out the measures the EC believes are necessary to protect food from contamination. In addition to a European Food Authority, the paper proposes:

  • a General Food Law, to include producer responsibility and traceability
  • improvements to the implementation of food safety legislation by member states
  • a truly transparent food safety system, with an emphasis on providing consumer information (a new labelling scheme is a possibility)
  • presentation of European food safety measures at the international level in order to convince trading partners of its necessity

Announcing the publication of the White Paper on Food Safety, EC Commissioner for Health & Consumer Protection, David Byrne, said: “The Commission believes that major structural change is required in our system of food safety to assure the twin objective of assuring the highest standards of food safety and restoring consumer confidence.”

The proposed European Food Authority would take over the responsibilities of five existing scientific committees, but would not have responsibility for managing food safety risks or introducing legislation. Such an authority was a key suggestion from an expert panel on food safety that reported to the EC at the end of last year (see related story).

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