Food Law News - EU - 2002

Council Minutes 15 July 2002

EFSA / CONTAMINANTS - Outcome of the Agriculture Council

The following are extracts from the minutes of the Agriculture Council

European Food Safety Authority

Mr Byrne explained the current situation. The Management Board was nominated, and the process of nominating the Executive Director has started.

The Council approved the rules for the selection of the members to the Management Board of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and consequently adopted the Decision appointing its 14 members.

Although the Members' term of office shall be four years (i.e. from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2006), for the first mandate, this period shall be six years for half of the members (i.e. 7 appointed members from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2008). It is to be noted that the candidates have been appointed with the aim of securing the highest standard of competence, an independent spirit, a broad range of relevant expertise, for instance in management and in public administration.

It is recalled that pursuant to Article 25(1) of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, which established the EFSA, the Commission initially forwarded a list of candidates to the Council. In its Decision, the Council took due account of the European Parliament's Opinion, which submitted a list of 17 candidates. While taking this Decision appointing 14 members, the Council has kept 9 members on the list suggested by the European Parliament. In accordance with the above-mentioned Regulation, four of the members have their background in organisations representing consumers and other interests in the food chain.

The list of the appointed members is the following:
(From 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2008):

(From 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2006):

The Management Board ensures that the Authority carries out its mission and performs the tasks assigned to it. Before 31 January each year, the Management Board adopts the Authority's programme of work for the coming year. It also adopts a revisable multi-annual programme. The Management Board ensures that these programmes are consistent with the Community's legislative and policy priorities in the area of food safety. Before 30 March each year, the Management Board adopts the general report on the Authority's activities for the previous year. The Management Board adopts the Authority's budget.

White Paper on Food Safety

Commissioner Byrne presented an update on the proposals in the White paper on Food Safety. 51 out of the 84 actions have now been adopted by the Commission. On the 33 remaining actions, it is expected that most of the important measures will be adopted by the end of this year.

Information on the White paper on Food Safety is available on the internet at:

Information on presence of MPA in feed

On the request of the Dutch delegation the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Germany gave a brief report on the situation. Commissioner David Byrne said: "Unfortunately, we again have to deal with an incident which should never have happened and which should have been avoided. I would like to point out that the Commission takes this incident very seriously. It is unacceptable that hormones should be present in feedingstuffs and apparently also in soft drinks. In the framework of the Standing Committee, it was indicated that the origin of the contamination lay in the fraudulent exchange and disposal of pharmaceutical waste. Subsequent discussions in this framework have been very useful in exchanging information and getting to the root of the problem.

Feed and food operators need to be more aware of their responsibilities in this area. Feed operators should ensure that the raw materials that they buy are safe."

He called upon the Competent Authorities in the Member States to exercise stricter control in ensuring a high level of protection of consumer health. "I have asked Member States to continue their investigations in order to trace potentially contaminated feed, to place under surveillance establishments concerned and to test potentially affected animals, in order to ensure that products placed on the market do not constitute a risk to public health. In particular it is necessary to ensure that all contaminated feedingstuffs are traced, withdrawn and safely disposed of. All necessary steps are taken to protect public health. Member States assure me that such steps are in fact taken.

Byrne also signalled forthcoming proposals of the Commission on controls for food and feed and feed hygiene.

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