Food Law News - EU - 2002

FSA News, 21 February 2002

CONTAMINANTS - Statement on star anise

The Food Standards Agency has implemented legislation setting out the documentation that is required when star anise is imported into the UK. The Food Order 2002 (Star Anise From Third Countries) (Emergency Control) (England) (S.I. No. 332) came into force on 16 February. Similar legislation is also in force in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This follows the adoption of emergency legislation by the European Commission on 1 February. Decision 2002/75/EC requires all imports of star anise into the EU from third countries to be subjected to documentary checks to ensure that they have been sampled and analysed, and found not to be contaminated with Japanese star anise. The Japanese variety is similar to Chinese star anise, but contains a toxic component and therefore is not fit for human consumption.

Environmental Health Officers and Port Health Authorities have now been instructed to monitor the import of star anise into the UK and ensure that each consignment has the required documentation to prove that Japanese star anise is not present.

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