In a press release published by the European Commission (EC) on March 15, 2017, European Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis informed that the European Parliament (EP) has on the same day adopted the new Regulation on Official Controls. This review of the previous legislation (Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls) was prepared by the EC with the aim “to increase Member States’ ability to prevent, eliminate or reduce health risks to humans, animals and plants” and to provide a “package of measures that will strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards,” at the same time “modernizing and simplifying the European control system to ensure that food in the European Union is safe along the entire agri-food chain.”
Andriukaitis pointed out that this Regulation is one part of a bigger EU legislation package on the food chain, that “cuts down almost 70 pieces of EU legislation to 5.” This “reduces the red-tape on processes and procedures for farmers, breeders and food business operators (producers, processors and distributors) to make it easier for them to carry out their profession.”
Andriukaitis emphasized that the new Regulation benefits both the consumers and the businesses, providing for “safer products and a more effective and more transparent system of controls along the chain” for the former, along with the “simpler, science and risk-based rules, allowing more efficient processes” for the latter.
The European Commission will now work on preparing “the more specific rules which stem from the Regulation to ensure it can apply in practice . . . [and] achieve a uniform approach on implementation.”
EC FOOD (2017). “Legislation on official controls.”
EC FOOD (2017). “Review of legislation on official controls.”
IFT (March 22, 2017). “EU adopts new safety rules for agri-food chain.“