New EU commissioner underlines food safety priority

Related tags Food safety European union

Markos Kyprianou, the new Commissioner for Health and Consumer
Protection in Brussels, will continue in his predecessor David
Byrne's foodsteps, pushing to maintain high levels of food safety
in the EU.

During his five year mandate, Kyprianou recently told Parliament that a key priority would be to keep up the strong levels of food safety at a manageable cost.

"By ensuring effective implementation of legislation within the EU and helping to raise food safety standards and practices in the EU's trading partners,"​ he told members of the European Parliament at a recent hearing.

The new Commissioner takes up his new position with the knowledge that under Byrne's term food safety was clearly flagged up as a leading issue.

The Commission's guiding principle, primarily set out in its 2000 White Paper on Food Safety​ cleared during Byrne's term, was to apply an integrated approach from farm to table covering all sectors of the food chain, including feed production, primary production, food processing, storage, transport and retail sale.

The hub of the white paper was the creation of the European Food Safety Authority, established under Byrne, to carry out risk assessment for the food chain. Tight new legislation on the labelling of controversial genetically modified ingredients on food products also gained a top spot, cleared into law last year.

"Priority will be given in 2005 to the welfare of chickens kept for meat production, the health rules for aquaculture animals, the implementation of hygiene rules and control systems, and better training for food safety professionals. In parallel, legislation on substances added to food and on the approval of pesticide active substances will be revised,"​ commented Kyprianou at his confirmation parliamentary hearing.

Referring to his consumer protection portfolio, Kyprianou said he will work to further 'empower' European citizens to know where opportunities or dangers lie within the Internal Market.

"I would like to see the creation of a feeling of trust in the Internal Market. I want all European citizens, whether in northern Finland or in Crete, to know and appreciate that the EU has put in place a legislative framework that allows them, with a high level of protection, to purchase goods and services, consume foodstuffs and avoid threats to their health."

Related topics Food safety and labeling

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