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Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health

The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health was set up to assist the Commission in the preparation of measures relating to foodstuffs. It replaces a number of existing committees in order to ensure a more effective, comprehensive approach to the food chain.


Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety [See amending acts].


In order to improve the procedures relating to food safety, this Regulation establishes the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, hereinafter referred to as the "Committee". It replaces the following existing committees: the Standing Committee on Foodstuffs, the Standing Committee on Animal Nutrition and the Standing Veterinary Committee. It also takes over certain tasks of the Standing Committee on Plant Health (see the heading "Background").


The Committee is made up of representatives of the Member States and is chaired by a representative of the Commission.

The Committee is divided into eight sections in order to cover all subjects concerned. These sections are as follows:

  • General Food Law;
  • Biological Safety of the Food Chain;
  • Toxicological Safety of the Food Chain;
  • Controls and Import Conditions;
  • Animal Nutrition;
  • Genetically Modified Food and Feed and Environmental Risk;
  • Animal Health and Animal Welfare;
  • Phytopharmaceuticals.


The Committee is a regulatory committee. The Commission may adopt the implementing measures only if they obtain a favourable opinion from the committee, given by a qualified majority of the Member States. Failing that, the proposed measure is referred to the Council, which takes a decision by a qualified majority. However, if the Council fails to reach a decision, the Commission adopts the implementing measure unless the Council opposes it by a qualified majority.

Article 53 of this Regulation provides for an emergency procedure to allow the Committee to intervene by taking certain measures. For example, in emergencies the Commission may provisionally adopt measures after consulting the Member States concerned and informing the other Member States. As soon as possible, and at most within ten working days, the measures taken are confirmed, amended, revoked or extended in accordance with the regulatory procedure explained above, and the reasons for the Commission's decision are made public without delay.

The Committee may also examine any issue falling under Community provisions, either at the initiative of the Chairman or at the written request of one of its members.

The Committee's mandate covers the entire food supply chain, ranging from animal health issues on the farm to the product that arrives on the consumer's table, thus significantly enhancing its ability to target risks to health wherever they arise in the production of our food.

The food crises of recent years have shown the need to improve food safety procedures. It is for this reason that this Regulation was adopted, so as to ensure a high level of protection of human health and consumers' interests, whilst ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market by laying down the general principles of food law at Community and national levels, by establishing the European Food Safety Authority and by laying down procedures in matters of food safety.


The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health takes over the competence of the Standing Committee on Plant Health in relation to:

  • plant protection products (Directive 91/414/EEC);
  • the fixing of maximum levels for pesticide residues in and on fruit and vegetables (Directive 76/895/EEC), cereals (Directive 86/362/EEC), foodstuffs of animal origin (Directive 86/363/EEC), certain products of plant origin, including fruit and vegetables (Directive 90/642/EEC).

For further information please consult the website on the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 [adoption: codecision COD/2000/0286]21.02.2002
01.01 2005 (Articles 11, 12, 14 to 20)
Date of appointment of the Scientific Committee and the Scientific Panels (Articles 29, 56, 57, 60 and 62 paragraph 1)
-OJ L 31 of 01.02.2002

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1642/200301.10.2003-OJ L 245 of 29.09.2003
Regulation (EC) No 575/200628.4.2006-OJ L 100 of 8.4.2006


Commission Decision 2004/613/EC of 6 August 2004 concerning the creation of an advisory group on the food chain and animal and plant health [Official Journal L 275, 25.08.2004].
This decision reorganises the existing advisory committees. The group's responsibilities lie in the areas of food and feed safety, food and feed labelling and presentation, human nutrition, and animal health and welfare.
The maximum number of members is 45, representing European-level bodies involved in the protection of interests in the above fields.
The group meets twice a year at the premises of the Commission and whenever the Commission considers a meeting necessary.

Last updated: 03.07.2007
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