IV. EUROPE AND THE CITIZEN
A. Public health and food safety
The European Council reaffirms the need to ensure a high level of protection of human health in the definition and implementation of all Union policies.
The European Council notes the Presidency's report on the discussions on the Commission White Paper on food safety. Food safety policy must apply to the entire animal and human food chain and be supported by an independent European Food Authority to complement preventive surveillance by the national authorities. The Council will examine forthwith the Commission proposals to implement the White Paper, so that food legislation meeting the most stringent public health criteria is in place by 2002 building on the results already achieved in the Member States. The first of these proposals, dealing with the establishment of a European Food Authority, is expected by September 2000 at the latest. In the meantime, the European Council invites the Commission to present proposals for harmonising maximum values for contaminants. The European Council also notes the Presidency's report on the progress achieved with regard to the Commission communication on the precautionary principle with a view to discussion at the Nice European Council.