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Procedure : 2010/2249(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0195/2011

Texts tabled :

A7-0195/2011

Debates :

PV 05/07/2011 - 13
CRE 05/07/2011 - 13

Votes :

PV 06/07/2011 - 6.8
CRE 06/07/2011 - 6.8
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2011)0328

Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 6 July 2011 - Strasbourg Final edition
Legislation on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) and on related feed and food controls
P7_TA(2011)0328A7-0195/2011

European Parliament resolution of 6 July 2011 on EU legislation on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) and on related feed and food controls - implementation and outlook (2010/2249(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 16 July 2010 entitled ‘The TSE Road Map 2: a Strategy Paper on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies for 2010-2015’ (COM(2010)0384),

–  having regard to the Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council of 25 August 2010 on the overall operation of official controls in the Member States on food safety, animal health and animal welfare, and plant health (COM(2010)0441),

–  having regard to the Communication of the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 2 December 2010 on the future necessity and use of mechanically separated meat in the European Union, including the information policy towards consumers (COM(2010)0704),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 laying down rules for the prevention, control and eradication of certain transmissible spongiform encephalopathies(1) ,

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin(2) and the Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the experience gained from the application of the Hygiene Regulations (COM(2009)0403),

–  having regard to Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 March 2000 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs(3) ,

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules(4) and the Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the application of that Regulation (COM(2009)0334),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety(5) ,

–  having regard to Directive 2003/99/EEC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 on the monitoring of zoonoses and zoonotic agents, amending Council Decision 90/424/EEC and repealing Council Directive 92/117/EEC(6) ,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) 1069/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 laying down health rules as regards animal by-products and derived products not intended for human consumption and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002(7) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 March 2011 on the EU protein deficit: what solution for a long-standing problem?(8) ,

–  having regard to the Commission Decision amending Decision 2009/719/EC authorising certain Member States to revise their annual BSE monitoring programmes,

–  having regard to the Council Conclusions of 22 October 2010 on the above-mentioned Commission Communication of 16 July 2010 entitled ‘The TSE Road Map 2: a Strategy Paper on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies for 2010-2015’,

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A7-0195/2011),

A.  whereas the occurrence of BSE in the European Union had reached epidemic proportions in the mid 1990s which led to the introduction of a series of measures aimed at the eradication of BSE and other TSEs,

B.  whereas the number of positive BSE cases in the EU has decreased from 2167 cases in 2001 to 67 cases in 2009; whereas, in the light of this decreasing number of cases, the legislation implemented during this period can be viewed as having contributed to the eradication of BSE and other TSEs in the EU and whereas, hand-in-hand with this declining epidemiological trend, the legislative provisions should be adapted in line with the actual situation in terms of risk,

C.  whereas, in view of the continuous declining number of BSE cases, the legislation on TSEs has been modified in recent years and consideration could be given to future changes while ensuring and maintaining the high level of animal and public health in the European Union; whereas these changes could include measures relating to SRM removal, review of the total feed ban provisions, eradication of scrapie, cohort culling and surveillance,

D.  whereas an increase in domestic protein crop production is indispensable in order to lower the dependence on soy imports and other protein sources,

General remarks

1.  Welcomes the Commission's TSE Road Map 2 - A Strategy Paper on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies and its proposals for certain revisions of the current TSE legislation regime in the European Union; underlines, however, that certain provisions need thorough assessment and will only be supported under certain conditions;

2.  Underlines the importance of ensuring that the significant decline in BSE cases in the European Union does not lead to less stringent TSE measures or to a reduction in the strict control and surveillance mechanisms in the EU; takes note of the contribution of past and current TSE legislation to the eradication of TSEs in the EU;

BSE surveillance

3.  Takes note of the increase in age limits for TSE testing of bovine animals above 72 months in 22 Member States as introduced by the above-mentioned Commission Decision amending Decision 2009/719/EC authorising certain Member States to revise their annual BSE monitoring programmes;

4.  Urges the Commission to increase the age limits in the remaining Member States only if supported by sound risk assessments in order not to jeopardise a high level of animal health and consumer protection;

5.  Underlines that the surveillance mechanism is an important instrument in monitoring TSE in the EU; expresses its concern about another rise in the age limits for testing in bovine animals in view in particular of the sample size testing which will govern the BSE monitoring system in bovine animals from January 2013; calls on the Commission to inform Parliament about progress and new findings on the sample sizes to be chosen;

6.  Urges the Commission to maintain the testing of risk animals as an important element in continuing to monitor the trend of BSE cases in the EU and ensuring the early detection of any possible re-occurrence in the future;

Revision of the Feed ban

7.  Supports - particularly in the light of the existing protein deficit in the EU - the Commission proposal to lift the provisions banning the feeding of processed animal proteins to non-ruminants, provided that this applies to non-herbivores only, and that:

   the processed animal proteins are only derived from species which are not linked to TSEs,
   the production and sterilisation methods used for processed animal proteins comply with the highest safety standards and with the rules laid down in the animal by-products Regulation and use the newest and safest technology available,
   the existing prohibitions on intra-species recycling (‘cannibalism’) remain in place,
   production channels for processed animal proteins derived from different species be completely separated,
   the separation of these production channels be controlled by the competent authorities in the Member States and audited by the Commission,
   before the lifting of the feed ban is implemented, a reliable species specific method is in place to identify the species origin of the proteins in animal feed containing processed animal proteins so that intra-species recycling and the presence of ruminant processed animal proteins can be excluded, and
   that the production of processed animal proteins from category 1 or category 2 material be prohibited and that only category 3 material fit for human consumption be used for the production of processed animal proteins;

8.  Stresses that these measures must go hand in hand with a CAP aimed at linking crop and livestock production, the adequate use of grassland areas, increasing domestic protein production and supporting crop rotation systems;

9.  Urges the Commission to introduce measures which ensure that, if the feed ban is to be lifted, the possibility of cross-contamination of non-ruminant material with ruminant material through transportation channels is excluded;

10.  Calls on the Commission to investigate the need for separate authorisation for slaughterhouses in which both non-ruminant and ruminant animal by-products are produced, so as to ensure a clear separation of these by-products;

11.  Rejects the use of processed animal proteins derived from non-ruminants or ruminants in feed for ruminants;

12.  Calls on the Commission to assess the need to control imports of processed animal proteins in order to ensure that intra-species recycling, the use of category 1 and 2 material and violations of hygiene rules can be excluded; underlines that regular and unannounced on-site checks are also necessary to this end;

13.  Is in favour of critically examining the setting of a tolerance level for insignificant amounts of non-authorised, non-ruminant animal proteins in feeding stuffs caused through adventitious and technically unavoidable contamination, provided that a method of determining the proportion of these proteins is available;

SRM list

14.  Expects the Commission to maintain the strict standards contained in the EU SRM list; emphasises that these strict standards shall not be weakened by any attempts of the OIE to align EU standards to the OIE list;

15.  Urges the Commission to consider modifications to the EU SRM list only if supported by scientific facts, under the application of the precautionary principle, if risks to human and animal health can be excluded and if the safety of the food and feed chain can be guaranteed;

Research on TSEs

16.  Urges the Commission to further encourage genetic control of scrapie in sheep through breeding and rearing programmes aimed at avoiding inbreeding or genetic drift;

17.  Urges the Commission to put into place measures to encourage ongoing research on scrapie resistance in goats and on atypcial scrapie as this could contribute to the eradication of TSEs in the EU;

18.  Calls on the Commission to encourage ongoing research to develop ante-mortem and post-mortem rapid BSE-diagnostic tests;

19.  Dismisses the Commission proposal to reduce EU funding for research on TSEs;

Cohort culling

20.  Takes note of the Commission proposal to review the current cohort culling policy in the event of the occurrence of BSE in bovine herds; stresses that, prior to any change to the cohort culling policy, the following aspects must be taken into account in order to maintain a high level of consumer trust: (1) consumer protection, (2) any risks to human and animal health and (3) continuing the practice of enabling risk managers and legislators to take the necessary immediate action in the case of a re-emergence of BSE in the EU;

Food and feed safety

21.  Takes note of the above-mentioned Commission Report on the overall operation of official controls in the Member States in food safety, animal health and animal welfare, and plant health; points out that the report reveals certain shortcomings with regard to the quality of reports from the Member States and urges the Member States to improve the quality of reporting by improving the conduct of national audits with a view to ensuring fulfilment of the regulatory requirements, by singling out cases of non-compliance and by enhancing the performance of control authorities and food business operators; calls on the Commission to execute efficient monitoring of the controls performed by the Member States;

22.  Expresses its concern about the contamination of food and feed, e. g. with dioxin, and calls on the Member States to enforce and apply existing regulations on food and feed controls and risk management very strictly and if needed, to strengthen those rules and ensure harmonised implementation by using common guidelines across the internal market;

23.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take measures to ensure that the requirements laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 and in implementing Regulation (EU) No 142/2011 relating to the treatment of animal by-products prior to their transformation into biogas and the use or disposal of digestion residues are complied with and illegal diversion into the feed chain is prevented; urges the Commission to monitor the way in which the current rules are implemented in the Member States to ensure a closed circuit for this activity;

Mechanically separated meat

24.  Expresses its concern about current EU legislation and implementation in the Member States on mechanically separated meat;

25.  Calls on the Member States to review their implementation of definitions of mechanically separated meat in line with the existing rules;

26.  Calls for mandatory labelling of mechanically separated meat in food in order to better inform consumers so they can make informed choices;

27.  Asks the Commission to inform third countries about any changes made to the TSE Regulation and measures related to TSEs;

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28.  Instructs its President to forward this implementation report to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ L 147, 31.5.2001, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 226, 25.6.2004, p. 22.
(3) OJ L 109, 6.5.2000, p. 29.
(4) OJ L 165, 30.4.2004, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 325, 12.12.2003, p. 31.
(7) OJ L 300, 14.11.2009, p. 1.
(8) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0084.

Last updated: 18 October 2012Legal notice