Food Law News - EU - 1999

19 March 1999: CONTAMINANTS - Conciliation Accord Satisfies EP Demand for Pesticide-free Baby Food

EP News Report, 19 March 1999

Conciliation Accord Satisfies EP Demand for Pesticide-free Baby Food

Food for babies, infants and young children should be as free as possible from pesticide residues: this has been the firm stance of Parliament throughout protracted discussions with the Council and Commission on a Commission proposal streamlining existing Community legislation on food for special nutritional purposes. These talks ended successfully yesterday 18 March when the joint Parliament/Council Conciliation Committee adopted the proposal without debate.

At its second reading of the proposal on 18 December 1997 Parliament adopted a single amendment to the Council's common position. This amendment insisted that specific provisions be drawn up to ensure that processed cereal-based baby foods be free of pesticides. As a result of parliamentary pressure throughout the talks, the Commission has now secured the agreement of the Member States to two Commission directives which stipulate that pesticide residues not only in cereal-based baby foods but also in infant formulae must not exceed 0.01 mg/kg (which, in practice, is said to be the minimum detectable level). As a result, Parliament was able to withdraw its second-reading amendment.

Parliament's rapporteur was Ulla SANDBAEK (I-EDN, DK). The Conciliation Committee was co- chaired by Parliament vice-president Mrs Nicole FONTAINE and, for the Council, by Dr Lorenz SCHOMERUS, German State Secretary for Economic Affairs. The agreement must now be approved by the Council and the House.

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