Food Law News - UK - 2003

FSA Consultation Letter, 5 February 2003

CONTAMINANTS - The Draft Contaminants in Food (England) Regulations 2003

Council Regulation 2375/2001, setting maximum levels for dioxins in foodstuffs, applied from 1st July 2002. A supporting draft Directive on procedures for sampling and methods of analysis for the official control of dioxins in foodstuffs has also been adopted as Commission Directive 2002/69/EC laying down the sampling methods and the methods of analysis for the official control of dioxins and the determination of dioxinlike polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in foodstuffs. Member States are required to comply with this Directive by 28th February 2003.

A Statutory Instrument is required to transpose Commission Directive 2002/69/EC into national law, and will refer to Directive 2002/63/EC. This consultation letter is seeking comments on the draft Contaminants in Food (England) Regulations 2003, specifically in relation to the implementation of Commission Directive 2002/69/EC. These proposed Regulations are intended to apply to England only, corresponding Regulations will be introduced separately in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Draft Contaminants in Food (England) Regulations 2003

The draft Regulations would-

In addition a new Directive 2002/63/EC (Establishing Community methods of sampling for the official control of pesticide residues in and on products of plant and animal origin repealing Directive 79/700/EC), has been published. This repeals Directive 79/700/EEC, and details the sampling procedure to be used for nitrate in lettuce and spinach. However, it should be noted that the Directive states that sampling is done on a weight basis. For lettuce up to 250g 10 samples must be taken as a minimum. For iceberg lettuce where the weight is above 250g a minimum sample size is 5. However, Regulation 563/2002 'Amending Regulation (EC) 466/2001 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs' states that the sample must be always made up of a minimum of 10 samples. This Regulation 563/2002 is the overriding one and applies in this case for sampling of lettuce and spinach for nitrate.

Responses to this consultation will be taken into account when the FSA consider whether the draft Contaminants in Food (England) Regulations 2003 need to be modified before they are made.

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