Food Law News - EU - 2002

EP Daily News, 6 February 2002

BSE - Monitoring of the BSE crisis - Report on monitoring of the BSE crisis with regard to public health and food safety

In approving a resolution, Parliament criticised sharply the inadequate and late implementation of EU legislation by certain Member States and the totally unacceptable failure by some Member States to comply with EU legislation. Parliament called on the Commission to verify that all Member States were applying the rules strictly. Where cases of non-compliance with such rules or of fraud were established, the Commission must impose stiff penalties on the offending parties. including multinationals which have infringed EU legislation.

The testing should also be extended to sheep, in the light of the conclusions of the Phillips report and the opinion of the Scientific Steering Committee, which now considers that the disease could be transmitted to sheep. Parliament also felt that existing stocks of animal meat-and-bone meal and feed containing such meal must be destroyed and that rendering waste which does not go into animal meal, such as waste water, fat and tallow, must be processed. Other waste, such as leftovers from meals (from canteens, restaurants etc.) must be processed as waste and recycled as such.

The Commission, should also fully investigate the possible link between calf feed and BSE given the most recent cases in Denmark and Finland and should take steps to ensure that animal feed cannot be contaminated with BSE. MEPs also reiterated their call for the removal of all livestock herds from the food chain where a case of BSE is confirmed as a radical solution in the fight against epidemics and as an appropriate strategy for combating BSE.

The FVO (the Commission's Food and Veterinary Office) must have powers to oversee the production of food and feed and the control systems in the Member States at short notice and, where there is a risk to the health and safety of consumers, without advance warning. The number of staff of the FVO should be also increased. Finally, Parliament voted to demand that the appropriate scientific investigations before the age for BSE testing is lowered to 24 months and that the list of risk materials be extended to include certain fats and tallow.

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