External dimensions of food safety are discussed
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CTA. 2003. External dimensions of food safety are discussed. Agritrade, November 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52791
In looking at the external dimension of EU food-safety regulations, ...
In looking at the external dimension of EU food-safety regulations, the Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, David Byrne, has reviewed progress over the past couple of years in restoring consumer confidence following disastrous food-safety scares. Actions taken included: the adoption of the general food regulation; the establishment of the European Food Safety Agency; progress in an ambitious food-hygiene package; progress on food-hygiene proposals; the revision of official controls. He acknowledged that 'in our drive for ever higher standards we have to recognise that some third countries can experience difficulties in reaching the high levels we demand', and also that on several occasion the EU had 'banned imported food products from less developed countries, whilst recognising the economic difficulties such action would cause'. He noted that the EU had to 'help third countries comply with our standards', through training, technical assistance, and financial assistance, and stated that the Commission wanted to see EU standards 'internationalised' through working with the relevant international bodies. Comment: Significantly while recognising the need for support for training to ensure compliance with EU food-safety standards, the Commissioner failed to recognise the disproportionate costs which EU food safety standards can place on small-scale suppliers, arising from the fact that the fixed costs of the infrastructural investments required are often very high and require high volumes to be economic. This reality will require the EU to look to the provision of financial assistance to smaller ACP countries in order to carry part of the infrastructural investment costs associated with both ensuring technical compliance and the proper verification of technical compliance.