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Parliamentary questions
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25 November 2010
Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-9027/2010

The Commission has searched its database ‘Rapid Alert System for Feed and Food’ (RASFF) and there is no notification of sulphur dioxide in kangaroo meat. The RASFF system includes notifications by Member States of risks to human health deriving from food and feed following border and market controls. Apart from official controls, any findings of unauthorised or excessively high levels of dangerous substances should be reported. Food business operators and Member States' competent authorities have to take appropriate mesures. The Commission would be grateful to receive further information by the Honorable Member on the source of the report findings in order for the Commission to investigate.

For RASFF notifications related to imported meat, the Commission immediately informs the third country in order for its authorities to take appropriate action.

The Commission also assesses the severity of a notification and has different instruments to act. In the case of lower risk contaminations and occasional findings no specific measure is put in place, and Member States continue to carry out their own risk-based controls. In other cases the Commission may adopt a decision after advice from the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) to set an increased minimum level of import testing. In severe cases, the Commission adopts a safeguard measure where a 100 % testing frequency on imports is laid down, or the product is even banned if the seriousness of the risk requires it.

The inspection service of the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers, the Food and Veterinary Office, carries out routine inspection missions in third countries in order to verify the proper enforcement of EU requirements. In some cases such missions are also carried out in emergency cases or for targeted purposes.

OJ C 249 E, 26/08/2011
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