Food safety in the EU
The European Union's food safety policy aims to protect consumers, while guaranteeing the smooth operation of the single market. It has agreed standards to ensure food hygiene, animal health and welfare, and plant health and to control contamination from external substances. In 2002, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law (General Food Law Regulation). It includes general principles, requirements and procedures that underpin decision making in matters of food and feed safety, covering all... stages of food and feed production and distribution. It also set up an independent agency responsible for scientific advice and support, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). EFSA provides impartial scientific advice to help inform decisions of policy makers about foodrelated risks. EFSA’s key activity is scientific risk assessment, a specialised field of applied science that involves reviewing scientific data and studies in order to evaluate risks associated with certain hazards. The Authority also has an important role in communicating its advice to its principal partners, stakeholders and the public at large in a timely, clear and meaningful way, helping to bridge the gap between science and the consumer. The recent agreement on the proposed amendments to the General Food Law seeks to address citizens’ demands for the risk assessment process to be more transparent and the need to make risk communication more effective and coherent across different actors in the EU. To implement the proposed measures, it calls for consideration of risk perceptions of all interested parties as a general principle of risk communication.
- Corporate author(s): European Food Safety Authority (EU body or agency) Themes: Food technology and food safety
- Subject: European Food Safety Authority, food inspection, food safety, report, scientific cooperation