Safer food in an enlarged Europe:
Agreement reached on food and feed controls
After a period of intensive negotiations with Member States, the European Parliament today adopted a compromise package on food and feed controls.
Commenting after a vote in plenary session, Flemish Green MEP Bart Staes said:
"The new rules will reduce the current deficits in food controls and monitoring and improve co-operation between Member States. It would appear that we have finally learned our lesson from the food crises of the past. Improved legislation can deliver better food safety only if its implementation is regularly controlled throughout the food sector. The vote today is an important step towards a more systematic and risk-based control of the food production process and towards better enforcement of European food law."
"Unfortunately we could not achieve a stronger rule for mandatory criminal sanctions in the case of severe infringements of EU laws. We have seen that the fines given to food operators in the past have not dissuaded them from committing such criminal acts. But sadly Member States did not accept the Commission's proposal for stronger sanctions, claiming that they were not part of the Union's competencies."
German Green MEP Hiltrud Breyer, said:
"In addition to the control rules adopted today we urgently need a European consumer information directive, to ensure transparency and provide consumers with the right to access all relevant information – like results of official controls. Another gap area is the lack of harmonisation in laboratory testing methods, especially for pesticides."
"However, we welcome the fact that the Council has finally agreed to include animal welfare issues in the scope of the regulation. The wellbeing of animals and their protection under community legislation will now be controlled more regularly and efficiently."