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In recent years, the concern that some branded products might be inferior in the Member States that have joined the European Union (EU) since 2004 has become ever more apparent. This concern has come to be known as the 'dual quality of products'. To address the issue, between 2018 and 2019, the European Commission's Joint Research Service (JRC) compared a set of branded food products sold under the same name and in the same or similar packaging across Member States – the first time a harmonised testing ...

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission published a proposal to review the General Food Law Regulation and amend eight legislative acts dealing with specific food chain sectors. The proposal follows up on the European Citizens' Initiative on glyphosate; and especially on concerns regarding the transparency of the scientific studies used in the evaluation of pesticides. The proposal also responds to a fitness check of the General Food Law, completed in January 2018. The proposal's objective is to ...

Food chain risk assessment transparency

Lühitutvustus 10-04-2019

Following controversies surrounding the authorisation and renewal of certain sensitive products, such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and active substances in plant protection products (glyphosate, neonicotinoids), the European Commission has proposed to revise and harmonise transparency rules in these policy areas. A vote to finalise Parliament's position took place at the December 2018 plenary. A provisional agreement reached in trilogue negotiations on 11 February 2019 is now awaiting ...

Eight EU Member States have launched, or are about to launch, national mandatory labelling schemes for certain food products, mainly for milk and milk used in dairy products, but also meat used in processed foods. The regulatory basis for these national measures is the Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers, which allows Member States to adopt additional national measures concerning the mandatory labelling of foodstuffs, as long as these are justified by reasons specifically ...

Food safety

ELi teabelehed 01-06-2017

European food safety policy aims are twofold: to protect human health and consumers’ interests, and to foster the smooth operation of the single European market. The EU thus ensures that control standards are established and adhered to in the areas of feed and food-product hygiene, animal health, plant health and the prevention of food contamination from external substances. The Union also regulates labelling for food and feed products.

The General Food Law Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 178/2002) was drafted following a series of food incidents in the EU in the late 1990s, including the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) outbreak and the dioxin scare. It is the act underpinning current EU food and feed legislation and defines its general principles, requirements and aims. The regulation also established the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an independent agency tasked with providing decision makers with scientific advice ...

Transatlantic regulatory patterns overall and in four key sectors: food, automobiles, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals indicate that the EU risk regulation is not always or generally more stringent or precautionary than the US regulation. In fact, the reality is a complex mix of parity and particularity. While there is overall EU-US similarity, there is also variation. In some risk matters, and across and within sectors, there is more precaution in Europe, whereas in others it may be in the US. Even ...

Insects – soon to be a regulated food?

Lühitutvustus 17-06-2016

There is increasing interest in the EU – as in other parts of the world – about how to make use of insect protein in animal feed and human food. While most EU Member States have forbidden the use of insects as human food, others have adopted a more flexible approach, allowing some products on their markets. Until now, EU legislation on insects for human food had had an uncertain stance, but the revised Regulation on novel foods will change this.

Food contact materials (FCMs) are widely used in everyday life in the form of food packaging, kitchen utensils, tableware, etc. When put in contact with food, the different materials may behave differently and transfer their constituents to the food. Thus, if ingested in large quantities, FCM chemicals might endanger human health, or change the food itself. Therefore, food contact materials are subject to legally binding rules at EU level, currently laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 which ...

'Trans fats' or 'trans fatty acids' (TFAs) are a type of unsaturated fatty acids that have been widely used in the food industry since the 1950s. There is now broad scientific consensus that high consumption of trans fats significantly increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), and may also be associated with increased risk of other cardiovascular diseases, obesity and type 2 diabetes. The main dietary source of industrial trans fats are partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. The World ...