Food chain advisory group created

A new group bringing together consumers, retailers, farmers and the food industry is being created to facilitate the consultation and dialogue between the European Commission and various organisations on food safety policy.

The new group – The advisory group on the food chain and animal and plant health – will meet at least twice a year and consist of up to 45 members from EU-level associations and will be consulted on a wide range of food policy matters. In addition the Commission intends to create an internet based consultative forum on food safety open to all European organisations with an interest.

David Byrne, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, said: “Debate and dialogue with stakeholders helps strengthen the quality of our policy making and is an essential component of good governance. Over the past few years the EU has put in place a world class system of food safety regulation. It is appropriate that today we also modernise our system for consulting on food safety.”

The new group will focus on strategies for food safety policies and will replace five existing consultative bodies – the advisory committee on foodstuffs, plus the standing groups on veterinary matters, plant health, animal welfare and feedingstuffs.

Its first meeting will be held later this year.

By David Hopkins

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