Foodwatch concerned about interim EU rules during Coronavirus


Foodwatch concerned about interim EU rules during Coronavirus

14 April 2020
A consumer group has called on the European Commission to ensure that food safety and consumer protection are not compromised during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foodwatch has written to Stella Kyriakides, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, to express concern about a regulation adopting temporary measures to tackle disruption in the control systems of EU countries.

The group said the crisis must not be used to lower the frequency and quality of control requirements and food checks must not be delegated to private companies. It added it is more important than ever that citizens trust the EU is protecting their health and safety.

The EU legislation around human, animal and plant health and animal welfare gives countries more flexibility to do official controls in the food supply chain. Member states had told the Commission that restrictions on movement of people was making it hard to conduct official controls and other activities in line with EU legislation.

Areas affected are clinical examination of animals, certain checks on products of animal origin, plant products and on food and feed of non-animal origin, and testing of samples in official laboratories designated by member states.

The measure gives temporary flexibility for control authorities to use remote communication and electronically submitted documents for checks. It is initially limited to two months and will be reviewed based on experience.