Food Law News - EU - 2001

FSA Letter, 16 January 2001

FOOD LAW/ EUROPEAN FOOD AUTHORITY - Proposed Council/EP Regulation Laying Down General Principles of Food Law and Establishing the European Food Authority (EFA)

The Swedish Presidency held their first meeting on the Commission's proposal in Brussels on 11 January. This meeting was only concerned with the EFA element (Title III) of the proposal. Discussions concentrated on Articles 21-27, in particular the remit of the EFA and its management structure. Concerning remit, it was generally felt that this was too broad. The Commission accepted that the primary focus should be on food safety, but given that the EFA was intended to be the centre of scientific excellence within the Community, they had adopted a pragmatic approach to the proposed placing of Scientific Panels under the EFA's auspices. The Commission agreed to redraft to clarify this intention; discussions will, however, continue on remit and scope. With regard to management structure, most Member States were in favour of a Management Board on which all interests were represented, but there were many questions on numbers and designation of representatives. Discussions on the Advisory Forum were inconclusive. The Commission are to reflect. The Swedish Presidency's provisional timetable envisages two meetings a month, with the next intended for 2 February, which will again be on the EFA. The Swedes have also indicated that they would like to achieve a common position by 5 June, at Internal Market Council, which is extremely ambitious given the complexity of the Commission's proposal.

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