European citizens are increasingly concerned about questions of public health and food safety. The bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE) and dioxin crises have underlined the need for a joint response to problems which extend far beyond national boundaries.
In the implementation of the Commission White Paper on Food Safety, the French Presidency will endeavour to achieve political agreement on the creation of a European Food Authority responsible for assessing the health and nutritional risks of foods.
Amongst the other legislative proposals in the Commission White Paper, the improvement of measures relating to food hygiene, zoonoses and animal waste, the establishment of rules relating to food supplements and to food fortified with vitamins and minerals, constitute the main priorities of the French Presidency.
Outside the White Paper, the labelling and traceability of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is a primary objective. The French Presidency will also aim to reach a common position of the Council at first reading on the proposal for a framework Regulation relating to Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs).
Finally, the Presidency will continue consideration of the Commission communication on the precautionary principle with a view to finalising conclusions at the Nice European Council, from which Member States will be able to draw inspiration in their national practice.