Press Release 11.12.2018

foodwatch statement on EU food law / risk assessment for pesticides / consumer protection

Brussels, 11 December 2018. Lena Blanken from the consumer organisation foodwatch on the vote in the EU Parliament on the reform of the EU General Food Law Regulation ("Transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain"):

"For the sake of more than 500 million European consumers, the European Parliament should have pushed the European Commission for a fundamental revision of the EU General Food Law, instead of only focusing only on one issue. Both are turning a blind eye to current problems such as an insufficient protection of consumers from health threats, fraudulent products and food scandals. In order to ensure a well-functioning and safe food market food-authorities all over Europe have to be clearly obliged to inform the public quickly and comprehensively in the event of infringements and food scandals. This must include the names of manufacturers and products, both in cases where there is a risk to health and in cases of fraud. Furthermore food operators, especially retailers, must be obliged to systematically test their products for health hazards and fraudulent practices. To ensure compliance with the law consumer associations must be given the right to sue authorities and companies that fail to fulfil their obligations under EU law."

Background Europe's General Food Law, Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002, was adopted in 2001 in reaction to the BSE crisis (mad cow disease). Currently, the European Commission and the European Parliament are revising it in the context of the "REFIT” process (Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme). In April the European Commission proposed a reform package for European food law that would amend provisions on risk assessment for plant protection products - while turning a blind eye to all other problems. foodwatch criticised the proposal as inadequate with the argument that, instead of focusing on a single issue, the Commission must eliminate the fundamental weaknesses of EU law. Recently, foodwatch has published the comprehensive report "Lost in the Supermarket", which gives an in-depth analysis of the food law of the European Union - and reveals fundamental weaknesses.

foodwatch-Report "Lost in the Supermarket

Why European food law fails to protect consumers from fraud, health hazards and food scandals": Read Report