New rules aimed to improve food traceability, combat fraud and restore consumer trust in the integrity of the food chain have been agreed for the EU.
MEPs and the Council of Ministers agreed to:
a comprehensive scope, encompassing the whole agri-food chain: controls on food, feed, plant health, pesticides, animal welfare, geographical indications, organic farming,
unannounced, risk-based controls in all sectors,
better enforcement against fraudulent or deceptive practices,
import conditions for animals and products imported from third countries, and
European Commission controls in EU member states and in third countries.
Karin Kadenbach MEP and a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety said:
“After the horse meat scandal, consumers had serious questions about the traceability of food, and the integrity of the meat supply chain. The European Parliament strove to address these concerns and to end up with a text that allows competent authorities to effectively combat fraudulent practices”
“I am also proud that Parliament managed to have the chapter on enforcement strengthened, in particular regarding the penalties to be applied in the event of intentional violations of the rules. I trust that really deterrent penalties will be a key tool to combat fraud in every area”
The new rules will follow a risk-based approach and aim to be swifter in reacting to emergency situations.There will be an in-depth review of existing procedures to eliminate any overlapping of current regulations.