Food Law News - EU - 1999

21 June 1999: CONTAMINANTS - Commission starts proceedings against Belgium

Commission Press Release (IP/99/406), 21 June 1999

Initiation of infringement proceedings against Belgium for failure to meet its Community obligations in the dioxin crisis

The Commission considers that in not informing the Commission and the other Member States immediately that dioxin had been found in foodstuffs and in animal feed Belgium failed to fulfil its obligations under Directive 89/662/EEC concerning veterinary checks in intra-Community trade with a view to the completion of the internal market and Directive 90/425/EEC concerning veterinary and zootechnical checks applicable in intra-Community trade in certain live animals and products with a view to the completion of the internal market. The Commission also considers that by not taking steps to prohibit the marketing, distribution to the final consumer, trade within the Community and export to third countries of the products mentioned in Commission Decision 1999/389/EC of 11 June 1999 on protective measures with regard to contamination by dioxins of products intended for human consumption derived from bovine animals and pigs from establishments placed under veterinary supervision, in particular pigmeat, beef and veal, certain meat products, raw milk, heat-treated milk and milk products other than butter, Belgium did not fulfil its obligations under the abovementioned directives and decision in conjunction with Article 10 of the Treaty. For the above reasons the Commission has initiated infringement proceedings against Belgium under Article 226 of the Treaty. Belgium has ten days in which to reply to the letter of formal notice.

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