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Procedūra : 2006/0143(COD)
Dokumenta lietošanas cikls sēdē
Dokumentu lietošanas cikli :

Iesniegtie teksti :

A6-0153/2007

Debates :

PV 09/07/2007 - 15
CRE 09/07/2007 - 15

Balsojumi :

PV 10/07/2007 - 8.32
PV 10/07/2007 - 8.39
CRE 10/07/2007 - 8.32
CRE 10/07/2007 - 8.39
Balsojumu skaidrojumi
Balsojumu skaidrojumi

Pieņemtie teksti :

P6_TA(2007)0320

Debates
Pirmdiena, 2007. gada 9. jūlijs - Strasbūra Pārskatītā redakcija

15. Vienota atļauju piešķiršanas procedūra attiecībā uz pārtikas piedevām, fermentiem un aromatizētājiem - Pārtikas piedevas - Pārtikas fermenti - Aromatizētāji un pārtikas produktu sastāvdaļas ar aromatizētāju īpašībām (debates)
PV
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  Przewodniczący. Kolejnym punktem porządku dziennego jest debata nad

- sprawozdaniem sporządzonym przez Åsę Westlund w imieniu Komisji Ochrony Środowiska Naturalnego, Zdrowia Publicznego i Bezpieczeństwa Żywności w sprawie wniosku dotyczącego rozporządzenia Parlamentu Europejskiego i Rady ustanawiającego jednolitą procedurę wydawania zezwoleń na stosowanie dodatków do żywności, enzymów spożywczych i środków aromatyzujących do żywności (COM(2006)0423 - C6-0258/2006 - 2006/0143(COD)) (A6-0153/2007),

- sprawozdaniem sporządzonym przez Åsę Westlund w imieniu Komisji Ochrony Środowiska Naturalnego, Zdrowia Publicznego i Bezpieczeństwa Żywności w sprawie wniosku dotyczącego rozporządzenia Parlamentu Europejskiego i Rady w sprawie dodatków do żywności (COM(2006)0428 - C6-0260/2006 - 2006/0145(COD)) (A6-0154/2007),

- sprawozdaniem sporządzonym przez Avril Doyle w imieniu Komisji Ochrony Środowiska Naturalnego, Zdrowia Publicznego i Bezpieczeństwa Żywności w sprawie wniosku dotyczącego rozporządzenia Parlamentu Europejskiego i Rady w sprawie enzymów spożywczych i zmieniającego dyrektywę Rady 83/417/EWG, rozporządzenie Rady (WE) nr 1493/1999, dyrektywę 2000/13/WE oraz dyrektywę Rady 2001/112/WE (COM(2006)0425 - C6-0257/2006 - 2006/0144(COD)) (A6-0177/2007), oraz

- sprawozdaniem sporządzonym przez Mojca Drčar Murko w imieniu Komisji Ochrony Środowiska Naturalnego, Zdrowia Publicznego i Bezpieczeństwa Żywności w sprawie wniosku dotyczącego rozporządzenia Parlamentu Europejskiego i Rady w sprawie środków aromatyzujących i niektórych składników żywności o własnościach aromatyzujących do użycia w i na środkach spożywczych oraz zmieniającego rozporządzenie Rady (EWG) nr 1576/89, rozporządzenie Rady (EWG) nr 1601/91, rozporządzenie (WE) nr 2232/96 i dyrektywę 2000/13/WE (COM(2006)0427 - C6-0259/2006 - 2006/0147(COD)) (A6-0185/2007).

 
  
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  Markos Kyprianou, Member of the Commission. Mr President, I have to say that I am happy that we are having this discussion today, but I know for many who do not know the details of these proposals that it may not sound very exciting. As a topic it may appear to be very technical, but it is not for me, because these proposals combine most of the European priorities. They involve food safety and consumer protection, which is one of the main priorities. They also touch upon innovation and the competitiveness of the European food industry, which is one of Europe’s main industries. They also seek to achieve simplification and better regulation. Although we still do not see eye to eye on the issues relating to these proposals, I am confident that we agree on the principles, the purpose and the targets of these proposals and that we will agree on a solution soon.

I would like to thank all the rapporteurs, Mrs Westlund for the work she has done, Mrs Doyle and Mrs Drčar Murko for their considerable efforts in preparing these reports and, of course, the overall support for the proposal. In addition to simplification, this package also provides for harmonisation and promotes consistency between the three areas. The common authorisation procedure will establish a system for assessing and authorising additives, enzymes and flavourings in a consistent manner and will simplify administrative procedures for national authorities and business operators.

Comitology is a sensitive issue. The proposal introduces comitology in order to update Community lists of additives, enzymes and flavourings to ensure that these can be adapted in a timely manner. I should remind you that these are purely technical and scientific issues, but we need to be able to resolve them in a timely manner. This is of major importance for consumer safety and the competitiveness of the food industry. I am aware of the concerns about the proposal to use comitology as expressed by Members of Parliament, but the alternative would be impractical and burdensome for all, especially for the European Parliament, and would be unworkable in practice. I know there are several amendments already tabled which would introduce codecision for updating the Community list of the additives, enzymes and flavourings. Experience as regards various food additives has shown that authorisation of substances under codecision is long and complex. This has a negative impact on innovation and these delays increase risks for the consumers as well. On the other hand, comitology allows for fast authorisation and the introduction of restrictions or removal of substances, if necessary, in order to protect the consumers.

We believe that the proposed use of comitology is a step towards the simplification of the legal framework and is essential for the three proposals. For this reason we would oppose the amendments that would introduce codecision for authorisation of these substances. However, I fully support the necessary adaptations the proposal contains with a view to establishing a regulatory procedure with parliamentary scrutiny. I would like to clarify this, because when the Commission proposal was adopted we were still in the process of adopting the new system, so it still refers to the normal regulatory procedure. It will, therefore, have to be adapted, and we will do so in the amended proposal, to take into account the new regulatory procedure with scrutiny which will enhance the rights of Parliament to scrutinise and have full input into the authorisation of additives, enzymes and flavourings. And I believe through this new procedure we will achieve the intention of the European Parliament while still maintaining the advantages of a simpler procedure.

And now we will look very briefly at food additives and the other proposals. Food additives have been used since ancient times to improve presentation and maintain nutritional quality. The regulation of these substances is important to ensure food safety and also to ensure that consumers are not misled. That is why it is appropriate to update the current legislation, encouraging innovation and development as long as they are safe. These are assessed by EFSA and comply with other criteria laid down in the legislation. The current directive on flavourings also needs to be substantially amended in order to take into account technological and scientific developments in the areas of flavourings and the developments of food legislation in the European Community. In the interest of clarity, efficiency and simplification, I should add that the best approach is to replace the directive with a new regulation on flavourings alongside a separate regulation on common authorisation procedures. The proposal on flavourings offers a high level of protection for the consumers while allowing the industry to continue to develop new flavourings and new applications in order to respond to increasing consumer demand for more convenient products.

And finally we have the proposal on food enzymes. These have been used traditionally in the production of food such as bread, cheese, beer and wine. They can improve the texture, appearance and nutritional value of food and can be used as alternatives to chemical-based technology. At this stage the use of food enzymes is not fully harmonised within the European Union and the national regulatory contexts differ significantly among Member States. This lack of harmonisation has created barriers to trade and hindered growth in this field. As well as that, there is currently no safety evaluation of food enzymes at European level except for those few that are considered to be additives. In the meantime technology has advanced and production methods of enzymes have become progressively more complex and their use more sophisticated and widespread. Safety evaluation of all food enzymes is therefore essential.

The purpose of the Commission proposal is to bridge the current regulatory gap by creating harmonised rules for the authorisation and use of food enzymes in the Community. The establishment of the Community list of approved enzymes and efficient updates of the list by comitology will foster the competitiveness of this European-led sector and ensure a high level of consumer protection.

As I am running out of time, I will not tire you with a specific response to every amendment, but a full listing of the Commission’s position on each of the amendments will be made available to Parliament. I trust that this will be included in the report of proceedings for this sitting. Our response will explain our position on each amendment.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Parliament for the considerable effort it has devoted to this whole legislative package. It should remain our shared interest – and I am confident that this will be the case – to keep these proposals together and apply a consistent approach.

Commission's position on amendments by Parliament

Report: Westlund (A6-0153/2007)

Overall the Commission can accept 28 amendments, either completely, subject to redrafting, in part or in principle. It rejects 11 out of a total of 39.

17 amendments are acceptable: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 15, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 30, 32

One amendment is acceptable partially and subject to redrafting: 37

10 amendments are acceptable in principle and subject to redrafting: 3, 8, 11, 12, 19, 25, 34, 35, 36, 38

11 amendments cannot be accepted: 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 26, 29, 31, 33, 39

Report: Westlund (A6-0154/2007)

Overall the Commission can accept 46 amendments, either completely, subject to redrafting, in part or in principle. It rejects 35 out of a total of 81.

21 amendments are acceptable: 8, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 36, 39, 42, 46, 48, 51, 56, 57, 59, 60, 3, 61, 62.

One amendment is acceptable partially: 33 (part)

6 amendments are acceptable in principle: 9, 26, 28, 35, 43, 44.

18 amendments are acceptable in principle and subject to redrafting: 7, 15, 23, 37, 55, 58, 1, 4, 63, 65 (64rev), 66 (65rev), 68 (67rev), 69 (68rev), 70rev, 71, 77, 79, 80

35 amendments cannot be accepted: 10, 11, 12, 17, 20, 24, 25, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 38, 40, 41, 45, 47, 49, 50, 52, 53, 54, 2, 5, 6, 67 (66rev), 70 (69rev), 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 78, 81

Report: Doyle (A6-0177/2007)

Overall the Commission can accept 32 amendments, either completely, subject to redrafting, in part or in principle. It rejects 8 out of a total of 40.

13 amendments are acceptable: 2, 3, 8, 10, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31, 35, 40.

3 amendments are acceptable partially: 1, 4, 19.

3 amendments are acceptable partially and subject to redrafting: 12, 14, 21.

13 amendments are acceptable in principle and subject to redrafting: 5, 7, 11, 15, 17, 18, 20, 24, 26, 29, 33, 34, 36.

8 amendments cannot be accepted: 6, 9, 13, 16, 32, 37, 38, 39.

Report: Drčar Murko (A6-0185/2007)

Overall the Commission can accept 29 amendments, either completely, subject to redrafting, in part or in principle. It rejects 24 out of a total of 53.

15 Amendments are acceptable: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 15, 28, 29, 30, 35, 36, 48.

10 amendments are acceptable in principle and subject to redrafting: 10, 14, 18, 25, 27, 31 (first part), 39, 41, 42, 45.

3 amendments are acceptable partially: 24, 33, 34

One amendment is acceptable partially and subject to redrafting: 1

25 amendments cannot be accepted: 2, 11, 13, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 31 (second part), 32, 37, 38, 40, 43, 44, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53.

 
  
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  Åsa Westlund (PSE), föredragande. – Herr talman! Jag vill tacka kommissionen och kommissionsledamot Markos Kyprianou för ett bra samarbete. Jag vill även tacka det tyska och det portugisiska ordförandeskapet och ministerrådet för deras vilja att hitta gemensamma överenskommelser om dessa för många aktörer och konsumenter så viktiga ärenden. Jag vill också rikta ett stort tack till föredragandena för de andra betänkandena i det här paketet Avril Doyle och Mojca Drčar Murko och till skuggföredragandena till mina två betänkanden. Vi har haft många värdefulla möten och samarbetsklimatet har varit mycket gott. Jag har därför goda förhoppningar om att de fortsatta samtalen om dessa ärenden kommer att flyta i samma konstruktiva anda.

Jag tänker börja med att tala om förslaget till förordning om livsmedelstillsatser. Många gånger är användningen av tillsatser helt nödvändig för att t.ex. öka livsmedels hållbarhet eller för att förbättra dess konsistens. Men det är långt ifrån klart hur alla tillsatser påverkar vår hälsa och miljö och ibland används tillsatser för att vilseleda oss konsumenter. Därför vill jag skärpa EU:s lagstiftning för livsmedelstillsatser, framför allt genom att skärpa kravet på att konsumenterna inte får vilseledas och genom att man vid tillståndsgivningen måste ta hänsyn till hur miljön och allergikernas situation påverkas.

Redan i dagens lagstiftning finns krav på att de tillsatser som används inte får vilseleda konsumenterna, men tyvärr så händer det ändå alltför ofta. Ett exempel är färgämnen som används för att lura konsumenterna att tro att den billiga yoghurten innehåller mer frukt eller bär än vad den i själva verket gör. Därför måste kravet på att tillsatser inte får användas på ett sätt som vilseleder konsumenter skärpas. Detta tyckte också miljöutskottet och jag hoppas att också parlamentet kommer att stödja denna ståndpunkt i morgon.

Det vi äter stannar inte i vår egen kropp utan det sprids också vidare ut i naturen. Därför måste tillsatsers miljöpåverkan börja vägas in i beslutet om huruvida de skall få användas eller inte. God miljö bör också vara ett av målen med förordningen. För att ytterligare tydliggöra detta bör den rättsliga grunden för livsmedelslagstiftningen ändras så att det blir tydligt att den syftar till att förbättra människors hälsa och miljön och inte enbart för att främja den fria rörligheten för varor på EU:s inre marknad.

Miljöutskottet har ställt sig bakom en rad av förslagen om ökad miljöhänsyn och jag hoppas att parlamentet i morgon kan göra detsamma.

Så till allergikerna och deras situation. Idag måste all mat som innehåller allergiframkallande ämnen vara märkt. Det är bra, men det är inte tillräckligt. Allergiker och personer som är intoleranta mot vissa ämnen skall kunna äta den mat som säljs i vanliga mataffärer och vanliga restauranger och slippa vara hänvisade till specialkost. Därför skall utbudet för allergiker inte begränsas genom godkännande av för dem besvärliga tillsatser om det inte finns andra tungt vägande skäl för godkännande. Miljöutskottet har delvis ställt sig bakom mina krav om det här och jag hoppas att parlamentet imorgon tar chansen att ytterligare underlätta för allergikerna genom att stödja mitt och andras ändringsförslag om att ta ökad hänsyn till just allergiker.

Så några ord om en grupp färgämnen, s.k. azofärgämnen. De var tidigare förbjudna i Sverige eftersom de kan orsaka problem för allergiker. För en tid sedan uppmärksammade också den engelska tidningen The Guardian en ännu icke publicerad brittisk studie som återigen väcker den ganska skrämmande diskussionen om ett möjligt samband mellan azofärgämnen och hyperaktivitet hos barn. Därför stödjer jag kravet att livsmedel som innehåller azofärgämnen skall märkas särskilt.

Avslutningsvis måste vi ställa oss följande fråga: vem skall fatta beslut om innehållet i vår mat i framtiden och hur skall beslutsfattandet gå till? Jag vill uppmana alla ledamöter att rösta emot de ändringsförslag som syftar till att begränsa konsumenternas insyn i godkännandeprocessen och i stället rösta för de ändringsförslag som handlar om att öka insynen och öppenheten. Hemlighetsmakeri runt vår mat riskerar att allvarligt skada allmänhetens förtroende för såväl EU som livsmedelsindustrin. När beslut tas av ministerrådet och Europaparlamentet gemensamt är beslutsprocessen också mer demokratisk och mer transparent. Med ett kommittéförfarande riskeras den demokratiska möjligheten att ställa ansvariga beslutsfattare till svars och insynen och möjligheterna att påverka besluten blir mycket begränsad. Dessutom har det dessvärre förekommit fall då man i beslut inom ramen för kommittéförfarandet har överskridit sina befogenheter och alltså inte följt de ramar som parlamentet och ministerrådet gemensamt kommit fram till. Ett exempel som handlar om användningen av biståndsmedel har faktiskt uppmärksammats i Europaparlamentet just den här veckan. Därför är mitt råd att parlamentet skall vara medbeslutande i de här frågorna även om det finns fördelar också med det nya föreskrivande förfarandet med kontroll.

 
  
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  Avril Doyle (PPE-DE), rapporteur. – Mr President, as rapporteur, I welcome the Commission's proposal on food enzymes, along with the other proposals in this package, as do industry and consumer groups generally. This proposal is actually the first piece of specific legislation aimed at food enzymes.

Enzymes are added to food to perform a wide range of technological functions in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packaging, transport or storage of foods. They are most commonly used in baking, brewing and cheese production and in the production of alcohol and other beverages.

While enzymes have been used for centuries in food production, in the latter half of the 20th century the use of enzymes in food production increased significantly and, since the 1980s, companies which produce enzymes have been using genetic engineering techniques to improve production efficiency and quality and to develop new products.

At present, there are no harmonised rules at Community level controlling the use of enzymes, creating not only barriers to trade and lack of legal certainty but also differing standards of health and consumer protection across the 27 Member States with only three Member States having their own risk assessment procedures at present, namely the United Kingdom, France and Denmark.

A regulation on food enzymes will therefore improve the operation of the single market in this area and thus promote European innovation and competitiveness, while ensuring a high level of consumer and environmental protection.

The proposed common authorisation procedure, for which Mrs Westlund is rapporteur, will also improve the efficiency of the single market with all risk assessments and all authorisations for food improvement agents being undertaken by the European Food Safety Authority.

There are just a few points I would like to highlight. Commissioner, I am also in favour of the ‘comitology with the right to parliamentary scrutiny’ procedure for this legislation. And I would like to see this harmonised across all four reports in the package, as these are technical reports which are best handled by the experts at EFSA and the Commission. Furthermore, as we are in the early stages of this new scrutiny system, we need to give it time to work before calling it into question.

I am concerned about the potential for double authorisation that this new enzyme regulation could create for food enzymes derived from genetically modified organisms which fall under the scope of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed. Under the present Commission proposal, the wording implies that such food enzymes would have to be authorised in accordance with that regulation before they may be assessed under this regulation for inclusion in the Community list.

While we have assurances that best administrative practice will apply in these cases at EFSA, I have proposed plenary amendments to my report to make it clear that EFSA could carry out concurrent or simultaneous assessments in accordance with the two pieces of relevant legislation. I support similar amendments to the reports on food additives and flavourings. We need coordinated wording across this package of legislation and there is agreement on this in large part between the Council, the Commission and industry on how to proceed.

Food enzymes are not and cannot be GMOs. However, an increasing amount of them are derived from genetically modified micro-organisms, and it is important to stress this distinction in order to avoid misunderstandings.

In my enzymes report I strongly recommend a single legal base for this regulation as it favours legal certainty which is in the line of most ECJ judgments on these matters. Dual legal bases generally mean sloppy drafting and leave the measure open to challenge, with respect. This regulation is purely a market harmonisation measure so I would prefer a single legal base in Article 95, the internal market legal base, alone.

A key issue of concern in the report on food additives is the proposed change in the definition of processing aids contained in several amendments that would require them to be authorised and labelled as additives if they are present in the final product, even when they are not active. This change was not put forward by the Commission in its original proposal and would signal a major departure from the current approach in EU food legislation with potentially major consequences for the European food industry.

Such a change would be out of synch with the Codex definition on processing aids and so could adversely affect European competitiveness and international trade. I am also dubious as to whether such excessive label clutter would actually improve consumer information.

To conclude, I would like to thank my colleagues for their support and collaboration, particularly Mrs Westlund and Mrs Drčar Murko. We need to coordinate and harmonise the four pieces of legislation in this package as much as possible in order to achieve coherent and practical regulations that can be easily interpreted and applied in all Member States and I look forward to further fine-tuning these reports at second reading.

 
  
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  Mojca Drčar Murko (ALDE), Poročevalka. – Podpiram izhodišče uredbe o aromah: zastarelo evropsko zakonodajo je treba posodobiti in poenostaviti, da bi izboljšali delovanje notranjega trga in spodbudili tehnološki napredek, vendar ne za ceno zmanjšanja zaščite potrošnikov. Nasprotno, zaščita se mora povečati.

Cilj poenotenih pravil o odobravanju novih dodatkov hrani je povečanje zaupanja potrošnikov. Biti morajo taka, da izključijo možnost zavajanja potrošnikov, to pa med drugim zahteva natančno in pregledno označevanje proizvodov.

Poleg toksikološkega vidika varnosti hrane je po mojem mnenju treba upoštevati tudi smotrnost dodajanja arom hrani. Možno je namreč, da bi proizvajalci močne arome uporabili tudi za prikrivanje slabih sestavin pripravljene hrane. Vprašanje tehnološke smotrnosti arom je tedaj povezano s kriteriji zaščite zdravja ljudi.

Sporni del uredbe so po mojem prepričanju prehranske sestavine z aromatičnimi lastnostmi, zlasti zelišča in dišave. Te so bile vključene v besedilo uredbe potem, ko so bila v tisku objavljena poročila o genotoksičnosti oziroma karcinogenosti nekaterih čistih biološko aktivnih načel v zeliščih. Dovoljene maksimalne količine, ki zadevajo okoli 60 zelišč in dišav, vsebuje Priloga III k uredbi.

Ne podcenjujemo znanstvenih dokazov o tem, da so biološko aktivna načela lahko sama zase škodljiva. Soglašam, da je treba izključiti možnost, da bi toksične snovi slučajno zašle v pripravljeno hrano. Za zdaj ni znanstvenih dokazov, da so taka načela škodljiva tudi tedaj, ko v izjemno majhnih delih nastopajo v mešanicah zelišč in dišav in jih zaužijemo v pripravljeni hrani.

Možna posledica določitve najvišjih dovoljenih vrednosti na podlagi biološko aktivnih načel bi morda, da bi nekateri tradicionalni proizvodi, ki so že desetletja na evropskem trgu, z njega izginili, proizvajalci hrane pa bi opustili zelišča in namesto njih uporabljali arome.

Govorim v imenu skoraj vseh članov Odbora za okolje, ko menim, da je vprašanje biološko aktivnih načel treba obravnavati kompleksno, povezano. Predlagam, da bi rešitev, ki jo je z veliko večino sprejel Odbor za okolje, poslanci podprli tudi na plenarnem zasedanju. V tem primeru bi Priloga III, del B, ostal v uredbi, a bi bil prazen toliko časa, dokler ne bi na podlagi znanstveno utemeljenega povoda v okviru svojih pooblastil Komisija naročila ustrezno študijo, ki bi na podlagi povprečne dnevne porabe take hrane izračunala dejanska tveganja za zdravje ljudi.

Pri uredbi o aditivih podpiramo stališče, da je pogoj za vključitev na seznam dovoljenih snovi pozitivno mnenje Evropske agencije za varnost hrane (EFSA), a ne kot edini kriterij. Toksikološka neoporečnost ne pove vsega o smiselnosti dodajanja aditivov v luči prizadevanj Evropske unije za vzgojo ljudi k zdravim prehranskim navadam. Razumni tehnološki interes je pojem, ki ga v luči tega podpiramo kot orodje za politično interpretacijo mejnih težav. Smiselno je, denimo, preprečiti zavajanje potrošnikov glede vrednosti dodatkov hrani, če je v resnici nimajo.

Naša skupina tudi podpira enoten in centraliziran postopek odobritve novih aditivov, arom in encimov, pod pogojem, da postane bolj učinkovit, hitrejši in bolj transparenten. Imeli smo pomisleke, ki smo jih izrazili v razpravi na Odboru za okolje, a ko smo sešteli dobre in manj dobre strani novega predloga, smo mnenja, da komitologija s pravico vpogleda Parlamentu daje možnost, da tehnične vidike odobritve dodatkov hrani dopolni z določenimi političnimi kriteriji, ki se mu zdijo pomembni s stališča dolgoročne zaščite potrošnikov.

Ob koncu se želim prisrčno zahvaliti poročevalkama drugih uredb, ki sestavljajo novi zakonodajni svežnj, za odlično sodelovanje in zelo produktivno izmenjavo mnenj.

 
  
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  Manuel Medina Ortega (PSE), Ponente de opinión de la Comisión de Asuntos Jurídicos. – Señor Presidente, la Comisión de Asuntos Jurídicos fue requerida por el Presidente de la Comisión de Medio Ambiente, Salud Pública y Seguridad Alimentaria para dictaminar sobre el fundamento jurídico apropiado para la propuesta de Reglamento del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo por el que se establece un procedimiento de autorización uniforme para los aditivos, las enzimas y los aromas alimentarios.

La Comisión de Asuntos Jurídicos ha estudiado el tema y, en primer lugar, nos encontramos con que es perfectamente posible tener dos fundamentos jurídicos distintos. Tenemos, por ejemplo, la Decisión del Tribunal de Justicia de 1988 en el asunto Comisión contra Consejo, que establece esta posibilidad de doble fundamento jurídico cuando coinciden los objetivos de la protección de las personas y el funcionamiento del mercado interior.

Creemos que en esta Directiva se da esa coincidencia. No se trata simplemente de una directiva destinada al mantenimiento del mercado interior sino también de una directiva que se propone dar el máximo nivel de protección jurídica.

Desde el punto de vista procedimental no hay dificultad, porque el procedimiento es el mismo: el procedimiento de codecisión. No obstante, creemos que el fundamento jurídico del artículo 95 —basado exclusivamente en el mercado interior— no es suficiente y que, por lo tanto, hay que reforzarlo con el apartado 1 del artículo 175, que se refiere a la protección de la salud de las personas.

 
  
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  Horst Schnellhardt, im Namen der PPE-DE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, meine Damen und Herren!

Herr Kommissar, Sie haben in Ihren einführenden Worten die Vorteile dieser neuen Regelung dargestellt: bessere Rechtssicherheit, bessere Information der Verbraucher und – was sehr wichtig ist – Abbau der Bürokratie. Ich kann Sie nur unterstützen! Machen Sie weiter so. Wandeln Sie diesen Flickenteppich von Richtlinien in Verordnungen um! Dann haben wir wichtige und richtige Grundlagen für die europäische Gesetzgebung.

Da Verordnungen natürlich in allen Mitgliedstaaten textgleich gelten, verlangen die Bedingungen des Binnenmarktes, dass ein gewisses Maß an Flexibilität vorhanden ist und die Aussagen sachbezogen sind. Deshalb ist die Prüfung eines Produktes im Mitentscheidungsverfahren, wie es im Ausschuss vorgeschlagen wurde, nicht notwendig. Ich bin ein Verfechter des Mitentscheidungsverfahrens, aber hier plädiere ich doch dafür, dass wir das erweiterte Komitologieverfahren anwenden. Das wird Ihnen sicherlich entgegenkommen.

Auch die Wirkung von Produkten und Lebensmittelzusatzstoffen auf die Gesundheit oder – wie die Berichterstatterin Westlund sagt – auf die Natur sollte nicht Bestandteil dieser Verordnungen sein. Hier sollten wir uns auf das konzentrieren, was erreicht werden soll. Sonst bekommen wir einen breiten Teppich von Regelungen, und wir werden das Ziel nicht erreichen. Dafür gibt es viele andere Regelungen.

Auch halte ich den Vorschlag für völlig überzogen, dass Lebensmittelzusatzstoffe nur eingesetzt werden dürfen, wenn die Wirkung mit Gewürzen nicht erreicht werden kann. Hier fehlt die wissenschaftliche Grundlage. Dem kann man nicht zustimmen.

Bei den Zulassungsverfahren bin ich eigentlich sehr zufrieden. Aber, meine Damen und Herren von der Kommission, trauen Sie doch Ihren Kollegen etwas zu! Warum sechs Monate Frist für die Lebensmittelsicherheitsbehörde EFSA und neun Monate für die Kommission? Das, Herr Kommissar, sollten Sie ändern! Folgen Sie dem Vorschlag, sechs Monate für beide Einrichtungen vorzusehen. Dann sollte es gelingen, etwas Positives zu entwickeln.

 
  
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  Karin Scheele, im Namen der PSE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Ich möchte mich bei den drei Berichterstatterinnen bedanken, insbesondere bei Frau Doyle, die jenen Bericht erarbeitet hat, bei dem ich für die Sozialdemokratische Fraktion Schattenberichterstatterin bin. Ich möchte versuchen, die Gemeinsamkeiten, aber auch die Unterschiede unserer Positionen herauszuarbeiten. Ich unterstütze — wie die Vorredner aus meiner Fraktion — den Ansatz, die Verordnungen auf zwei Rechtsgrundlagen zu stützen, weil für mich die in diesem Kommissionsvorschlag enthaltene gesteigerte Verbrauchersicherheit wirklich das wesentliche Argument ist.

Die Berichterstatterin Doyle hat ja bereits erwähnt, dass bislang nur drei Mitgliedstaaten eine Sicherheitsbewertung von Enzymen in ihr geltendes nationales Recht umgesetzt haben. Deswegen brauchen wir — gerade aus Gründen der Verbrauchersicherheit — eine Sicherheitsbewertung auf europäischer Ebene.

Ich hoffe, dass das Plenum morgen dem Weg des Ausschusses folgen wird und zusätzlich zu den im Kommissionstext vorgesehenen Kriterien, wann ein Lebensmittelenzym in die Gemeinschaftsliste aufgenommen wird, noch ein weiteres Kriterium aufnimmt: dass nämlich die Verwendung einen Nutzen für den Verbraucher mit sich bringen muss.

Ein wichtiges Thema für mich — wie auch für sehr viele andere Abgeordnete in diesem Haus — sind jene Enzyme, die aus gentechnisch veränderten Organismen hergestellt werden. Ich kann mich gut erinnern: Vor einigen Jahren, als wir die Verordnung über gentechnisch veränderte Lebens- und Futtermittel in diesem Haus diskutiert haben, haben viele von uns probiert, dem Wunsch der europäischen Bevölkerung zum Durchbruch zu verhelfen, dass Enzyme, die aus gentechnisch veränderten Organismen hergestellt werden, entsprechend gekennzeichnet werden. Damals wurden wir auf diese allgemeine Überarbeitung der Enzym-Gesetzgebung verwiesen. Heute stehen wir genau an diesem Punkt, und deswegen glaube ich, dass jetzt der Moment gekommen ist, dem Wunsch einer breiten Mehrheit in der europäischen Bevölkerung zum Durchbruch zu verhelfen.

Wenn ich jetzt von meiner Zuständigkeit direkt zum Bericht von Åsa Westlund übergehen darf: Ich werde selbstverständlich den Ansatz der Mitentscheidung unterstützen, weil wir bei einem Thema wie Enzyme für breitestmögliche Transparenz sorgen sollten. Es ist allerdings interessant, dass die Kommission hier für das erweiterte Komitologieverfahren eintritt, während wir hier bei einem anderen Dossier über gentechnisch veränderte Organismen gegen eine Wand rennen. Ich finde es sehr interessant, dass man hier bei den Enzymen sagt, das Regelungsverfahren mit Kontrolle ist bei der individuellen Zulassung möglich, während dies bei anderen Themen wie etwa den gentechnisch veränderten Organismen offensichtlich noch nicht der Fall ist.

 
  
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  Marios Matsakis, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, I wish to congratulate Mrs Doyle on her excellent report on food enzymes and to thank her for the very good cooperation she afforded to all the shadow rapporteurs.

The use of enzymes in food processing is well known through the ages. However, in recent years such use has multiplied in number, quantity and complexity. It is therefore imperative to have new EU legislation on this aspect of food production.

Some of the areas on which the rapporteur has focused her attention include providing clear definitions of food enzymes and food enzyme preparations, the proper labelling of products and, perhaps most controversially, food enzymes derived from genetically modified micro-organisms.

In general, I fully support the line followed by the rapporteur in this report. However, concerning GMO-derived enzymes, I have decided to follow a more strictly ‘green’ approach than Mrs Doyle, although I must admit that the rapporteur has made significant compromise changes which greatly improve the approach to the matter of GMOs.

Nevertheless, I would like to tackle the issue, appearing perhaps a bit over- rather than under-cautious, as the subject matter has a number of as yet unresolved scientific question marks and unknown quantities. In addition, I feel that, as far as our citizens’ health is concerned, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Besides, the European public’s psyche and perceived understanding of anything to do with GMOs is presently somewhat suspicious, to say the least. It is only right and fair that the public should be given full information with crystal clarity and honest precision on foodstuffs that contain certain substances derived from GMOs. Only in this way will our citizens feel absolutely safe that they can enjoy food produced with the use of enzymes, knowing exactly how the enzymes were produced. The vast majority of consumers might not make full use of such a practice, but it will be available for those few who wish to be fully informed as a matter of right.

 
  
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  Andrzej Tomasz Zapałowski, w imieniu grupy UEN. – Panie Przewodniczący! Obecnie w Europie i na świecie coraz więcej żywności jest wzbogacane środkami chemicznymi. Koncerny spożywcze serwują społeczeństwu, a szczególnie dzieciom coraz więcej substytutów żywności. Bardzo często odnosi się wrażenie, iż spożywamy tyle samo żywności, co dodatków chemicznych.

Najbardziej na złą żywność narażeni są najmłodsi. To ich najłatwiej skusić reklamą, to oni najwięcej spożywają barwników w napojach i niby-słodyczach, zwłaszcza tych pakowanych w folię. O ile sprawozdanie jest dobrym krokiem we właściwym kierunku, to brak umieszczenia zakazu stosowania GMO w produktach spożywczych, a nawet podkreślenie możliwości ich stosowania napawa niepokojem.

Czy eliminując niezdrowe dla organizmu dodatki do żywności, zastępując je w niektórych wypadkach GMO nie narazimy na przyszłość społeczeństwa na nieprzewidywalne dziś choroby i ich następstwa dla organizmu?

 
  
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  Carl Schlyter, för Verts/ALE-gruppen. – Jag vill tacka föredragandena för ett gott samarbete. Det har bl.a. lett till att mina ändringsförslag som begränsar användningen av smakförstärkare, som varnar för azofärger och som föreskriver märkning och riskbedömning av genmanipulerade tillsatser och pesticider som används som konserveringsmedel har införlivats i betänkandet. Jag hoppas dessa ändringar består i plenum.

Jag stöder föredraganden när jag föreslår en dubbel rättslig grund. Miljökonsekvenserna av tillsatser måste beaktas vid tillståndsgivningen. Det kan vara nödvändigt för att få en väl fungerande rening i reningsverken.

Huvudidén i kommissionens förslag är att införa kommittéförfarande för tillsatser. Den risk vi då löper är att alltför många tillsatser godkänns och bara bevisat farliga substanser förbjuds. Erfarenheten från EFSA visar att försiktighetsprincipen inte står högt i kurs. Ett av grundkraven i förordningen är dessutom att konsumenterna inte skall vilseledas. Det är en politisk fråga hur det ska tolkas och därmed en fråga för parlamentet.

Vi har rätt till naturlig, god och trygg mat. Ofta används tillsatser i mat som inte är färsk eller naturlig. Konsumenterna har allt att vinna på att naturlig och färsk mat inte får sina konkurrensfördelar minskade genom en slapp lagstiftning om tillsatser som gynnar mat som är gjord för storskalig och centraliserad produktion med långa transporter, något som knappast är bra för miljön heller.

Därför är det absurt att kommissionen anger att färg i annars färglösa livsmedel är ett särskilt viktigt skäl för att få använda färgämnen. Det, om något, är väl att vilseleda konsumenten! Förslaget om längre hållbarhet som särskilt skäl för användning av sötningsmedel är vilseledande och bör strykas.

För att skydda barnen hoppas jag att jag får stöd för begränsningen av färger av mat till barn. Och nanopartiklar bör inte godkännas enligt denna förordning eftersom den inte är anpassad för att hantera dess egenskaper. Även allergiker bör vi ta särskilda hänsyn till genom att inte låta tillsatser begränsa deras matval.

De tillverkare som inte ger tillräcklig information om sina tillsatser skall givetvis inte få dem godkända. Det skall inte löna sig att undanhålla information. Alla dessa saker har vi i gröna gruppen lagt som ändringsförslag. Blir dessa godkända får vi en lagstiftning som skyddar konsumenterna.

Samma logik har gröna gruppen tillämpat på övriga förordningar. Naturligt kryddad mat får inte missgynnas, vilket den gör genom kommissionens förslag. Jag uppmanar alla att stödja naturlig kryddning och inte låta sig luras av industrin för syntetiska tillsatser.

 
  
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  Pilar Ayuso (PPE-DE). – Señor Presidente, señor Comisario, mi intervención versará sobre el Reglamento referente a los aromas, a cuya ponente, la señora Murko, quiero agradecer desde aquí la colaboración que hemos tenido y los buenos acuerdos a los que hemos llegado.

En primer lugar, tengo que celebrar la propuesta de la Comisión, porque supone una puesta al día de la legislación, al tiempo que simplifica los procedimientos de aprobación, centralizando en la Autoridad Europea de Seguridad Alimentaria (EFSA) la valoración de los riesgos para comercializar los aromas y la elaboración de una lista positiva.

También es importante la aportación del Parlamento a este informe y que tan acertadamente –como he dicho– ha coordinado la señora Murko.

Consideramos conveniente el procedimiento de comitología y estamos de acuerdo con él, siempre que no hurte al Parlamento la posibilidad de examinarlo cuando lo estime oportuno. Es necesario ampliar la aplicación del Reglamento a las especias y hierbas congeladas, puesto que la tecnología así lo exige.

Hay que etiquetar como tales los aromas naturales, porque el consumidor tiene derecho a conocer este dato. En cuanto a los alimentos e ingredientes alimentarios derivados de organismos modificados genéticamente (OMG) que cumplan los requisitos del Reglamento (CE) n° 1829/2003, sobre alimentos y piensos modificados genéticamente, y los del presente Reglamento, deben ser sometidos a una única evaluación de la EFSA que sea válida para ambos procedimientos de autorización. No deben someterse a dos procedimientos distintos para lo mismo.

Las hierbas y especias naturales tienen unas características muy particulares y creo que es buena la solución a la que se ha llegado, consistente en sacarlas del anexo.

El periodo transitorio, algo que no contempla el Reglamento, es también una necesidad mientras esté en vigor la legislación vigente. En este sentido van las enmiendas del Partido Popular Europeo.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (PSE). – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, caros Colegas, quantos cozinheiros amadores ou profissionais, dentro ou fora da Europa, terão pensado que o uso excessivo de aromatizantes pode ser prejudicial à saúde? Muito poucos, certamente. Quantos de nós, que apreciamos o sabor dos orégãos ou do cravinho, podíamos imaginar que nalguns casos extremos aromatizar a comida poderia ser perigoso? Provavelmente ninguém. E, no entanto, dizem os especialistas que sim, que pode haver intoxicações alimentares e alergias se o uso de aromatizantes não obedecer a normas de consumo.

Os consumidores sabem, e se não sabem deveriam saber, que o consumo de ingredientes químicos não é a mesma coisa que a ingestão de produtos naturais e também se sabe, por experiência, que os produtos sintéticos, químicos e industriais estão, regra geral, mais acessíveis que os naturais. Por isso é necessário informar os consumidores das características dos aromatizantes e regulamentar o sector.

Os regulamentos propostos pela Comissão e estes relatórios vão precisamente neste sentido. Aproveito, aliás, para felicitar a Comissão e as relatoras, a Sra. Westlund, a Sra. Doyle e a Sra. Murko, pelo trabalho realizado e pela colaboração com os relatores-sombra, designadamente a Sra. Murko de que fui relatora-sombra por parte do Partido Socialista.

Defender a saúde pública, informar e proteger os consumidores são objectivos que devem nortear todas as políticas europeias. Neste sentido a proposta de regulamento é bem-vinda, uma vez que visa actualizar as normas relativas ao uso dos aromas de forma a corresponder aos desenvolvimentos tecnológicos e científicos neste domínio. A nova legislação enuncia regras mais claras, respeitantes aos teores máximos das substâncias com características tóxicas de forma a ter em conta os recentes pareceres científicos da Agência Europeia da Segurança Alimentar. São estabelecidas definições mais precisas para os aromas, introduzidas condições mais restritas para a utilização do termo natural na descrição dos aromas.

Consideramos que o contributo do Parlamento Europeu vai ao encontro de uma maior clarificação e harmonização da legislação no domínio dos aromatizantes. Com as novas regras ficam os consumidores mais informados e protegidos, sem que a indústria fique prejudicada? São só vantagens, portanto. A criação de um enquadramento claro permite a inovação e possibilita novos desenvolvimentos tecnológicos, além de que a própria indústria europeia pode manter a sua posição de liderança na área dos aromas. Esperam-se deste modo, efeitos positivos para a saúde pública.

 
  
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  Alexandru-Ioan Morţun (ALDE). – Mâine, Parlamentul European urmează să adopte patru regulamente urmare cărora Comisia şi Comitetul permanent pentru lanţul alimentar şi sănătatea animală vor trebui să revizuiască toate autorizaţiile existente din punct de vedere al criteriilor, altele decât siguranţa, ca de exemplu: dozele, necesităţile tehnologice şi chiar eventuala inducere în eroare a consumatorului.

După intrarea în vigoare a regulamentelor menţionate, Comisia Europeană va trebui să monitorizeze aplicarea lor şi să ia măsuri cu precădere împotriva producătorilor de produse alimentare pentru sugari şi copii, care nu menţionează încă pe etichete cantitatea şi denumirea tuturor aditivilor, mai ales a celor care sunt utilizaţi în cantităţi foarte mici şi care nu pot fi depistaţi cu uşurinţă prin metodele clasice de analiză.

În prezent, în multe ţări ale Uniunii Europene, medicii au semnalat multe cazuri de alergii din cauza unor produse alimentare ce conţin diverşi aditivi. În absenţa menţionării tuturor acestora pe etichetele produselor alimentare, medicii - şi vă vorbesc ca medic - nu reuşesc să găsească remediile necesare la aceste alergii, mai ales dacă este cazul unui tratament de urgenţă.

Din aceste motive cred că Parlamentul European ar trebui să susţină aceste idei mâine, să susţină amendamentele care se referă la acestea.

 
  
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  Wiesław Stefan Kuc (UEN). – Panie Przewodniczący! Rosnąca konkurencja pomiędzy producentami żywności, ich walka o konsumentów powodują, że starają się oni uatrakcyjnić oferowane towary. Producenci sztucznie nadają towarom ładniejszy wygląd, lepszy smak czy dłuższy okres przechowywania. Nie zawsze te działania są korzystne dla zdrowia konsumentów.

Sprawozdania Pań Posłanek: Åsa Westlund, Avril Doyle i Mojca Drčar Murko starają się o zabezpieczenie naszego zdrowia i równocześnie ochronę środowiska przyrodniczego - poprawka 17 do art. 3. Dlatego niezrozumiałe są tak szerokie wyłączenia z definicji dodatków do żywności. Dlaczego wyłącza się cukry, w tym wielocukry, takie jak skrobia, chlorki amonu, pektyny czy aminokwasy? Czyżby znów zadziałała presja wielkich producentów? Jeśli tak, to rozporządzenie nie spełni swojego zadania.

 
  
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  Kathalijne Maria Buitenweg (Verts/ALE). – Voorzitter, aroma's met schadelijke gevolgen voor de gezondheid van mensen horen simpelweg niet in ons voedsel thuis. En zoals al eerder is gezegd: consumenten hebben recht op veilig voedsel en ook de milieueffecten moeten in kaart worden gebracht.

Het is goed, zoals de rapporteur zei, dat onderzocht wordt of bepaald voedsel een kankerverwekkende werking heeft. Maar ook aroma's die niet direct schadelijk zijn, kunnen indirect wel een negatief effect hebben. Ons lichaam wordt namelijk misleid door kunstmatige aroma's. Aroma's kunnen tot wel 90% verantwoordelijk zijn voor de smaak van een voedingsmiddel. Maar door proeven, ruiken en zien kunnen wij bepalen of we een product wel of niet willen eten. Hoe vers of hoe gezond is het? En zonder aroma's zou u werkelijk nooit gaan beginnen aan fast food.

En er zijn ook kunstmatige smaakstoffen met een verslavende werking zoals monosodiumglutamaat en daarvan willen mensen alleen maar meer gaan eten, zoals bijvoorbeeld van chips. Ik ben blij dat het Parlement voorstellen doet voor etiketten met goede objectieve informatie. Dat alleen is echter onvoldoende, want mensen zijn zich er niet van bewust dat ze de kleine lettertjes moeten gaan lezen. Het is daarom ontzettend belangrijk dat er een campagne wordt gestart, bijvoorbeeld in het kader van de campagne tegen overgewicht waarmee de Europese Commissie is begonnen, om duidelijk te maken wat gezonde voeding is en dat de kleine lettertjes vele kilo's kunnen schelen.

 
  
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  Françoise Grossetête (PPE-DE). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, nous sommes saisis aujourd'hui d'un paquet de règlements qui sont particulièrement importants pour le consommateur. Ils sont importants, comme le commissaire Kyprianou l'a d'ailleurs bien dit, parce qu'il s'agit de sécurité alimentaire, parce qu'il s'agit aussi de répondre aux attentes en matière de goûts des consommateurs et enfin parce qu'il s'agit de la compétitivité de nos entreprises agroalimentaires.

Au sujet de l'autorisation d'agents d'amélioration issus d'OGM, je crois qu'il était nécessaire, effectivement, de se mettre en conformité avec le règlement sur les OGM. Cela dit, je voudrais surtout intervenir au sujet des arômes, et plus précisément des arômes naturels. Il me paraît important, en effet, d'examiner de plus près la question de l'étiquetage "arôme naturel" puisque, dans l'état actuel de la réglementation, un fabriquant peut apposer l'étiquette "arôme naturel" sur ses produits à partir du moment où l'arôme est naturel à 100%, quelle que soit la formule.

Demain, si le règlement proposé est accepté en l'état, l'industriel ne pourra plus utiliser cette appellation "arôme naturel", mais devra recourir à l'expression, qui me paraît beaucoup plus lourde, "arôme naturel de ...", par exemple, "pommes", s'il s'agit d'un produit à base de pommes. C'est là que j'aurais souhaité que l'on en reste avec le pourcentage que nous connaissons jusqu'à présent, c'est-à-dire que, sur le total des agents aromatisants, 90% au moins doivent provenir de la source dénommée, étant entendu que les 10% ne provenant pas de la source nommée sont tout autant naturels car provenant d'une autre source naturelle. Or, on sait très bien que, pour développer certains goûts, il est nécessaire d'utiliser d'autres arômes naturels, d'ajouter 10%, par exemple, d'un autre arôme naturel qui permet de renforcer un goût.

Donc, l'évolution vers un ratio de 95% et 5%, voire de 100%, entraînerait une standardisation des arômes au niveau européen, ce qui, à mon avis, va à l'encontre de la créativité de l'industrie, de l'innovation de l'industrie alimentaire et je trouve cela particulièrement regrettable.

 
  
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  Zbigniew Krzysztof Kuźmiuk (UEN). – Panie Przewodniczący! Chciałbym zwrócić uwagę na cztery kwestie w tej dyskusji. Po pierwsze, dodatki do żywności nie mogą stanowić zagrożenia dla zdrowia i życia konsumentów. Po drugie, powinny być stosowane tylko w sytuacjach, gdy jest to niezbędne z przyczyn technologicznych, pod warunkiem jednak, że przyniesie to korzyści konsumentom, a także wtedy, kiedy nie można osiągnąć pożądanego skutku poprzez użycie naturalnych przypraw.

Po trzecie, etykiety umieszczone na produktach żywnościowych powinny rzetelniej informować o zawartych w nich dodatkach do żywności. Po czwarte, dodatki wytwarzane z organizmów modyfikowanych genetycznie lub wyprodukowane przez organizmy genetycznie modyfikowane, w ogóle nie powinny być stosowane jako dodatki do żywności.

Jeżeli jednak do tego dojdzie, na etykietach powinna być w tej sprawie nie tylko rzetelna informacja, ale nawet ostrzeżenie konsumenta, że są to dodatki z użyciem GMO.

 
  
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  Markos Kyprianou, Member of the Commission. Mr President, I would like to thank the Members for a very interesting debate. As I anticipated, on some issues we do not completely agree, but I am sure that with discussions and some goodwill on both sides we will be able to find solutions.

To begin with, the priority for all of us, the main consideration, is the protection of the consumer, there is no question about that, and I am sure you do not doubt my willingness to promote the interest of the consumer in this respect, but at the same time we have to remain proportional, we have to be practical and we have to be able to achieve this target with the smallest possible administrative burden.

I would like to refer to some of the issues, though I do not want to take up too much time. Firstly, on the issue of codecision and comitology, maybe I should remind you that the reason we, the two institutions, agreed on the new principle of comitology with scrutiny was precisely to find a procedure through which we could have a practical, simple, speedy way of taking decisions on technical and scientific issues by giving a stronger say to the European Parliament and having more transparency for the European Parliament to be able to express its views. By the way, this has not been used yet, we have just started with that. My legislation on health claims was the first to adopt this, so referring to the old comitology procedure is not relevant to what we are discussing now because now we are discussing the new one, which achieves the targets of transparency and of involvement of the European Parliament but at the same time allows a speedy and practical way of deciding on technical and scientific questions. Imagine having to go through the whole legislative proposal every time you have to decide on an enzyme, on an additive, on a calorie, when at the end of the day it will all be based on the views of the European Food Safety Authority that we have jointly, with legislation from Parliament, created exactly for this purpose.

I would ask Parliament, or the sides of Parliament which are keen on introducing codecision in this respect, to reconsider, because in the end we will not achieve any of the intended targets we have set and it will eventually, due to the lengthy procedures, work against the interests of consumers as well.

On the issue of the legal basis, I agree with Mrs Doyle. You know our position and I believe that we should have a single legal base. I believe that this can cover all the other considerations, because the other considerations are reflected in the legislation itself.

On the issue of allergenicity, I agree that this should be one of the legitimate factors to consider when authorising food additives, so it will be a factor to be taken into account. Labelling, too, is a very important aspect and will help the consumers get information, but we could not accept a total restriction on those additives which may be allergenic as the consumers affected by those can be protected through the labelling legislation.

On the double authorisation procedures with the GMOs I agree that we have to have a practical and good administrative practice. Therefore, we could accept the proposed clarification but with some rewording to make the text compatible with Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003.

On the issue of herbs and spices, I agree they are natural, but, at the same time, it does not mean that they do not contain certain substances naturally which can still pose health problems. That is why it is useful and important to also include those on the list and have the maximum levels. We had a situation recently in at least one Member State where we had to consider the possibility of reintroducing maximum levels. Therefore, just because something is natural does not necessarily, and by definition, mean that it does not also contain some substances that when consumed in excessive amounts can be harmful.

On the question of nine months for the Commission, six months for EFSA, nine months is the maximum time proposed, but that does not mean that it will take nine months. However, at the same time, based on the opinion of EFSA, there is a procedure for the Commission to consult with the stakeholders and the Member States to see how they can deal with the technological needs, the benefits to consumers and to ensure that consumers are not misled. There are many other relevant factors. As you know, consultation processes in the European Union need some time. We have to be able to exhaust those processes. That is why we would like to have adequate time, but that does not necessarily mean that this time will be exhausted.

On the issue of the benefits to the consumer, we could accept that these be included in a recital – this would reinforce an important principle – but not in a restrictive way in the legislation. I will not go into details. When we get our position we will be able to see the reason why we can accept part of it.

On the issue of how the legislation on pesticides complements this legislation and vice versa, we believe that one complements the other. Therefore, when a product is not covered under plant protection legislation it will be covered by this one. It is important for clarity to maintain a clear line between these two areas of legislation. I was specifically interested to see whether there was a possibility of creating a gap, and that is not possible. It is clear that one or the other pieces of legislation will assess the safety of the product, depending at what stage it is being used, and taking into account some technical aspects of it.

On the issue of ‘natural’ and the question of 90% or 95%, it is important that when we refer to the source we have the highest percentage possible of that source. At the same time, the rest has to come from a natural source. On the other hand, if something is to be called ‘natural’ and not by reference to a specific source, then it has to be 100% natural.

The main target for all this is to ensure that consumers are not being misled. At the end of the day, the most important aspect of the proposals is to assess safety, make sure that there is no risk to the health of consumers and provide information so that consumers can make an informed choice. It will be up to them to decide whether they want to buy a processed product or something natural and fresh. It is our basic policy to promote the consumption of fresh foods, but we cannot exclude the other products from the market. Therefore we have to give consumers a choice and then they can exercise it according to their needs.

 
  
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  Przewodniczący. Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się we wtorek 10 lipca 2007 r.

Oświadczenia pisemne (art. 142)

 
  
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  Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE-DE), in writing. – For many years food enzymes have been very often used in alimentary production process in order to provide the highest and the finest quality of products. As our technologies are improving and genetically modified micro-organisms are used in this process as well, there is strong need of regulation in order to ensure the safety and health of consumers at the European level. Currently food enzymes used as processing aids are not covered by EU legislation. Member States legislation on food enzymes differs significantly, which can lead to problems for the internal market and an unclear situation for the European consumer. That is why I support the efforts of the rapporteur and the Commission to accept the package, which is designed to create a simplified common approval procedure for food enzymes.

 
  
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  Gyula Hegyi (PSE), írásban. – Sok emberben élnek fenntartások az élelmiszerek adalékanyagaival kapcsolatban. Ennek oka részint az ismeretek hiánya, részint a sok botrány és visszaélés. Ezért üdvözlendő, hogy a Bizottság szigorítani és egyszerűsíteni akarja az ide vonatkozó jogszabályokat. Jó kezdeményezésnek tartom, hogy új lista készül a pozitív, biztonságos adalékanyagokról. Természetesen a fogyasztói szempontokat is figyelembe kell venni, amelyek országonként, sőt, kisebb régiókban és generációs alapon is különbözhetnek. Arra is törekedni kell, hogy a fiatalok is minél több természetes és egészséges ételt fogyasszanak.

Nagyon fontosnak tartom bizonyos csoportok, így az allergiás emberek védelmét. A GMO-jelentés rapportőreként is támogatom, hogy ha az adalékanyag GMO-t tartalmaz, akkor azt egyértelműen tüntessék fel a terméken. A termékbe vetett bizalom csak a hiteles és pontos információval növelhető. Átláthatóvá kell tenni az engedélyeztetési eljárást és ösztönözni kell a biztonságosabb anyagok használatát.

 
Pēdējā atjaunošana - 2007. gada 19. jūlijsJuridisks paziņojums