Plans to tighten up official food inspections, from farm to fork, were adopted by the European Parliament on Wednesday. The new rules, already informally agreed by MEPs and the Council, aims to improve food traceability, combat fraud and restore consumer trust in the integrity of the food chain.
The legislation will provide a comprehensive, integrated and more effective control system in the areas of food and feed safety rules, veterinary and plant health requirements, organic production and protected geographical indication rules.
“After the horse meat scandal, consumers had serious questions about the traceability of food, and the integrity of the meat supply chain. The European Parliament strove to address these concerns and to end up with a text that allows competent authorities to effectively combat fraudulent practices” said rapporteur Karin Kadenbach (S&D, AT).
“I am also proud that Parliament managed to have the chapter on enforcement strengthened, in particular regarding the penalties to be applied in the event of intentional violations of the rules. I trust that really deterrent penalties will be a key tool to combat fraud in every area” she added.
The agreement negotiated between MEPs and the Council of Ministers provides for:
a comprehensive scope, encompassing the whole agri-food chain: controls on food, feed, plant health, pesticides, animal welfare, geographical indications, organic farming,
unannounced, risk-based controls in all sectors,
better enforcement against fraudulent or deceptive practices,
import conditions for animals and products imported from third countries, and
European Commission controls in EU member states and in third countries.