V. CITIZENS' EUROPE
A. Consumer health and safety
35. The European Council affirms the need to implement rapidly and fully the principles introduced by the Treaty of Amsterdam, which provides for a high level of human health protection in the definition and implementation of all Community policies and activities. In this context, the European Council notes the Council Resolution on the precautionary principle (cf. Annex).
36. The European Council notes the Commission's presentation of a proposal for a Regulation intended, on the one hand, to lay down the general principles and basic requirements of food law and, on the other, to establish a European Food Authority. Food safety policy must apply to the whole food chain, for humans and animals alike. The new European Food Authority must operate with the highest possible level of scientific excellence, independence and transparency, thus helping to prevent crises. The European Council invites the Council and Parliament to speed up work so that the future European Food Authority may become operational as from the beginning of 2002.
37. The European Council has noted the measures agreed by the Council to combat BSE: implementation of test programmes, suspending the use of meat and bone meal in productive livestock feed and the withdrawal of specified risk material, the list of which could, if required, be extended. All of these provisions must be implemented swiftly and rigorously in order to give consumers a lasting guarantee that beef is safe. More intense efforts in the field of human medicine and veterinary research are essential if the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this disease are to be guaranteed.
38. The European Council has taken note of the Commission's intention to propose measures to improve the situation in the beef market, to study the situation of livestock breeders and to analyse in greater detail the supply of and demand for oil and protein-bearing plants, in strict compliance with the financial perspective.