Food Law News - EU - 1997
27 February 1997: PESTICIDES - Revisions to Directives on the Control of Maximum Pesticide Residues
PSD Letter, 27 February 1997
Proposal for Revisions to Directives on the Control of Maximum Pesticide Residues
In 1995 the Commission published a proposal for amendments to the 4 main Directives relating to pesticide residues - 76/895 (fruit and vegetables), 86/362 (cereals), 86/363 (foodstuffs of animal origin) and 90/642 (certain products of plant origin).
The original proposal was the subject of detailed negotiation and was finally set aside by Member States in favour of a modified version of the text prepared as a compromise by the Spanish Presidency, which was acceptable to the UK. Though agreed by the Council the Spanish compromise text was not formally adopted due to the need to await the results of Commission consultation with the European Parliament on the original proposal. The Commission has now published its own proposed amendments to the original proposal based on the results of the consultation with the European Parliament.
The letter indicates that the original proposal included the following changes:
- the suggested transfer of authority for voting on amendments to the MRLs Directives, including individual MRLs, from Council to a Commission Standing Committee on Plant Health. This would enable changes to MRLs to be made more quickly.
- the scope of the current pesticide residues Directives would be extended to processed and composite products.
- include a conciliation procedure for Member States to resolve trade disputes over treated produce
- include provisions related to the harmonization of Member States' residue monitoring programmes
The new amendments include:
- recognition of the legal priority of any contaminants levels for food established in the baby and infant food directives (91/321 and 96/5)
- formal extension of scope of the cereals directive to "other grains and seeds"
- clarification of the proposed extension of scope of the MRLs Directives to processed and composite foods
- clarification of the arrangements for establishing a conciliation procedure for trade difficulties
The new proposal is expected to be discussed in Brussels within the next few weeks, and will probably be moved to a vote in the Council of Ministers within the next three months. The PSD have requested comments by 7 April.
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