Food Law News - EU - 2001

FSA Letter, 29 March 2001

CONTAMINANTS - European Commission Working Documents on Dioxins in Food

The FSA have circulated European Commission (EC) working documents on dioxins in food, which have been received very recently from the Commission.

They are working documents only and they do not represent an agreed Commission position or firm proposals from the Commission. Rather, the working documents have been produced as an aid to initial discussions on possible options for controls on dioxins.

There are three working documents:

The options presented in the Commission working documents include:

The working documents were discussed briefly at a meeting of the EC Working Group on Contaminants on Friday 23 March. The Commission gave an explanation of the background to the documents and answered general questions from Member States. A similar initial exchange of views on the principal elements of the proposals will take place at the EC Standing Committee for Foodstuffs on 23 April.

The Commission is taking forward parallel initiatives on dioxins in animal feed. Initial discussions on these took place on 26 March.

The Commission working documents deal with complex issues which will need very careful consideration. The FSA are circulating these working documents now to provide an opportunity for them to be considered at this early stage.

Extract from Working Document - Exploratory Memorandum


Introduction For a permanent reduction of the presence of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs in food and feed, it is of utmost importance that by source-directed measures, the presence and the release of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs into the environment is reduced and ultimately eliminated.

Therefore it is foreseen that the Commission will present later this year a comprehensive strategy to reduce dioxins in the environment, feed and food. This strategy would focus on two aspects:

However, measures need already to be taken at the level of the food and feed chain to limit the presence of dioxins in food and feed.

Proposed legislative measures

Besides the measures to limit the release of dioxins into the environment, the proposed measures for the reduction of dioxins and dioxin like PCBs in feed and food consist of a combination of:

Maximum limits:

Action levels and target levels:

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