The importance of food safety cannot be understated as we have seen the problems even minor food scares can cause for producers, retailers and consumers. The EU's approach to food safety aims to assure a high level of food safety, animal health, animal welfare and plant health within the European Union through farm-to-table measures and adequate monitoring, while ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market.
I sit on Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety which has responsibility for policy on food safety in tandem with the European Commission and European Council. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is the body responsible for food safety in the EU.
EFSA- European Food Safety Authority
EFSA was set up in January 2002, following a series of food crises in the late 1990s, as an independent source of scientific advice and communication on risks associated with the food chain.
EFSA's remit covers food and feed safety, nutrition, animal health and welfare, plant protection and plant health. In all these fields, EFSA's most critical commitment is to provide objective and independent science-based advice and clear
communication grounded in the most up-to-date scientific information and knowledge.
Provision of food information to consumers
The provision of Food Information to Consumers is an important issue being discussed in the European Parliament at the moment.
The proposal for new Europe-wide rules centres on what type of labelling should be used on food packaging and how much information should be provided. The EU's aim is to provide clear and concise information on the ingredients and nutritional values of food so that consumers can make well-informed choices about the food they purchase.
The debate on Food Information to Consumers will now move to the Council of European Ministers and will return to the parliament at a later stage.