New Proposal Recommends A Single Food Safety Authority In The European Union

Date: May 01, 2001

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have issued a final proposal to establish a European Food Authority, and lay down the general principles and requirements of food law, including those dealing with packaging.

If established, the European Food Authority would serve as an independent scientific arbiter. The Authority would also take a lead role in managing food safety emergencies, to ensure "that all foods, whatever their type and origin, [are] subject to common measures in the event of a serious risk to human health."

The proposal expressly adopts a broad definition of food law - covering a range of provisions, including provisions on materials and articles in contact with food - "to take a sufficiently comprehensive and integrated approach to food safety."

The proposal also states that the free movement of food within the European Community "can be achieved only if food safety requirements do not differ significantly from Member State to Member State." If Member States adopt individual laws, the regulatory differences "may impede the free movement of food, create unequal conditions of competition and may thereby directly affect the functioning of the internal market."

Used with permission. Copyright FOOD & DRUG PACKAGING, May, 2001.

For further information about this article, please contact George G. Misko at 202-434-4170 or by e-mail at misko@khlaw.com.