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Parliamentary questions
7 August 2012
Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission

No statistics on food fraud detection exist, but the issue is being thoroughly debated. A conference entitled ‘combating food-related crime’ organised by the Commission in February 2012 with the aim of bringing practitioners together, contributed to raise awareness on the matter.

Regulation (EC) No 178/2002(1) sets out the general principle which prohibits the marketing of unsafe food and states that food law should aim to prevent fraudulent or deceptive practices. EU legislation is also mindful to ensure consumers are fully informed via stringent requirements on food labelling (Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011(2)).

Member States are responsible for the enforcement of EU food law and verify, through the organisation of official controls, that requirements thereof are fulfilled by operators at all stages of production, processing and distribution. Official controls must be carried out regularly, on a risk basis, with appropriate frequency and measures must be taken to contain risk and enforce EU food law in relation to both domestic and imported products. As regards the latter, Article 11 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 requires they comply with EU requirements or conditions recognised by the EU to be at least equivalent thereto. Member States must carry out documentary, identity and physical checks to verify such compliance. For certain higher risk goods, checks must occur upon entry into the EU in specific facilities.

Official controls ensure the identification of shortcomings and should allow the adoption of remedial action and penalties where food crimes are committed. In the light of this, there is no need to develop a specific strategy to fight food fraud.

(1)OJ L 31, 1.2.2002.
(2)OJ L 304, 22.11.2011.

OJ C 262 E, 11/09/2013
Last updated: 14 August 2012Legal notice