European food laws should be made simpler, more coherent and easier for ordinary people to understand. Food labelling too, must be clear and informative, giving consumers a real tool to make informed choices on the foods they buy. Mr Rooker was putting forward the UK Government's response to an EC Green Paper inviting comments on 'The General Principles Of Food Law In The EU'.
Mr Rooker said:
"We want European rules to encourage national and regional diversity and innovation in the range of foods on offer to consumers. At the same time we want that food to be safe to eat and accurately and honestly described and labelled. The food industry, enforcement officers and consumers have a right to simple and clear legislation, in terms that ordinary people can understand. Finally, controls must be based on the latest, most reliable scientific evidence and the resulting laws must be properly and uniformly enforced across the EU."
Member states' responses to the Commission's Green Paper are due for return today. The Green Paper was issued in April this year in an effort to open a wide debate in Europe on the future direction of European food law.
In its response, the Government supports moves to
Consumer, industry and enforcement interests in the UK have been encouraged to respond to the Commission directly. The Commission will study these responses and debate the issues with other EU institutions this autumn with a view to producing a White Paper bringing forward specific legislative proposals.
The public can obtain copies from Keith Gregory, MAFF, Room 325d Ergon House, c/o Noble House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR (tel: 0171 238 6254; fax: 0171 238 6763).