Food Law News - EU - 2001

Standing Committee on Foodstuffs, 2-3 April 2001

CONTAMINANTS - Discussions Concerning Levels of Dioxins and Furans

Exchange of views on future Community measures to be taken in order to reduce the presence of dioxins in foodstuffs

An exchange of views took place concerning possible measures to be taken in order to reduce the presence of dioxins in foodstuffs. The proposed measures are based on the conclusions and recommendations of the opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food on the "Risk Assessment of Dioxins and Dioxin-like PCBs in Food", adopted on 22 November 2000.

The proposed measures on food are part of a comprehensive strategy with the objective to reduce the presence and release of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs in the environment, feed and food.

The measures discussed have the objective to protect public health by ensuring a pro-active approach to further reduce the presence of dioxins in food and feed, thereby accelerating the ongoing decreasing trend. The proposed approach was generally welcomed and the measures will be discussed in more detail at a next meeting of the Expert Committee "Contaminants"

2. Consultation of the Committee on national measures envisaging the establishment of maximum levels of dioxins and furans in pork, poultry, beef, eggs, animal fats, oils, milk and eel, notified by the Netherlands to the Commission, in compliance with Article 5, point 2 b) of Council Regulation (EEC) N) 315/93 of 8 February 1993 laying down Community procedures for contaminants in food (notification N 2001/0069/NL)

The measures proposed by the Netherlands were:

It was noted by the Commission representative that these levels are higher than those currently under discussion at Community level. One delegation stressed the need for mutual recognition and another delegation mentioned that it would be appropriate not to take national measures at this stage and to await for Community legislation. After discussion it was clarified that the measures are of application to all products on the market in the Netherlands, regardless the origin. No other comments were made and it was therefore concluded that the Committee did not have objection to the envisaged national measures.

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