Food Law News - EU - 2002

Commission Press Release (ip/02/959), 28 June 2002

CONTAMINANTS - Limits on presence of dioxin in food and feed enter into force on 1 July

In November 2001 Council adopted a regulation setting legally binding limits on the presence of dioxin in food (IP/02/1698). An equivalent Directive setting maximum limits in animal feed was adopted at the same time (IP/02/1670) These limits will come into force on Monday 1 July. Any food, feed or feed material exceeding these strict limits is excluded from the food chain.

Commissioner David Byrne, responsible for Health and Consumer Protection, stressed that the new dioxin limits in food and feed must be implemented vigorously from next week onwards: "These measures are a key element of the comprehensive strategy of the Commission to improve the safety of feed and food in response to the dioxin contamination problems of the past. Very few countries in this world have any binding limits for the presence of dioxin in place. Thus, the EU is paving the way forward to improved public health protection."

The actions taken in relation to food and feed are part of an overall strategy to reduce the presence of dioxins and PCBs in environment, feed and food. Measures to limit or to eliminate the emission of dioxins into the environment through source-directed measures are of major importance to reduce the overall contamination by dioxins.

The adopted Regulation on food is an amendment of the Commission Regulation (EC/466/2001) on maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs. The Directive on feed is an amendment to the Council Directive (1999/29/EC) on the undesirable substances and products in animal nutrition, Both measures fix strict but feasible maximum levels for dioxin in food and feed.

Council has conceded some derogation for Finland and Sweden for fish and fish products consumed on the domestic market until 2006.

See also MEMO/01/270 of 20 July 2001 (Factsheet on dioxin in food and feed) at:

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