Brussels, 28 June 2002
Limits on presence of dioxin in food and feed enter into force on 1 July
In November 2001 Council adopted a regulation setting legally binding limits on the presence of dioxin in food (IP/02/1698). An equivalent Directive setting maximum limits in animal feed was adopted at the same time (IP/02/1670) These limits will come into force on Monday 1 July. Any food, feed or feed material exceeding these strict limits is excluded from the food chain.
Commissioner David Byrne, responsible for Health and Consumer Protection, stressed that the new dioxin limits in food and feed must be implemented vigorously from next week onwards: "These measures are a key element of the comprehensive strategy of the Commission to improve the safety of feed and food in response to the dioxin contamination problems of the past. Very few countries in this world have any binding limits for the presence of dioxin in place. Thus, the EU is paving the way forward to improved public health protection."
The actions taken in relation to food and feed are part of an overall strategy to reduce the presence of dioxins and PCBs in environment, feed and food. Measures to limit or to eliminate the emission of dioxins into the environment through source-directed measures are of major importance to reduce the overall contamination by dioxins.
The adopted Regulation on food is an amendment of the Commission Regulation (EC/466/2001) on maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs. The Directive on feed is an amendment to the Council Directive (1999/29/EC) on the undesirable substances and products in animal nutrition, Both measures fix strict but feasible maximum levels for dioxin in food and feed.
Council has conceded some derogation for Finland and Sweden for fish and fish products consumed on the domestic market until 2006.
See also MEMO/01/270 of 20 July 2001 (Factsheet on dioxin in food and feed) at:
Maximum limits for dioxin in food
(25) Upperbound concentrations; upperbound concentrations are calculated assuming that all values of the different congeners less than the limit of determination are equal to the limit of determination
(26) These maximum levels shall be reviewed for the first time by 31 December 2004 at the latest in the light of new data on the presence of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs, in particular with a view to the inclusion of dioxin-like PCBs in the levels to be set and will be further reviewed by 31 December 2006 at the latest with the aim of significantly reducing the maximum levels.
(27) The maximum levels are not applicable for food products containing < 1% fat.
(28) Meat of bovine animals, sheep, pig, poultry and farmed game as defined in Article 2 (a) of Council Directive 64/433/EEC (OJ 121 29.7.1964, p. 2012), as last amended by directive 95/23/EC (OJ L 243, 11.10.1995, p.7) and Article 2(1) of Council Directive 71/118/EEC (OJ L55, 8.3.1971, p. 23), as last amended by Directive 97/79/EC (OJ L24, 30.1.1998, p.31) and Article 2(2) of Council Directive 91/495/EC (OJ 268, 24.09.1991, p.41) as last amended by Directive 94/65/EC (OJ L 368, 31.12.1994, p.10), excluding edible offal as defined in Article 2(e) of Directive 64/433/EEC and Article 2(5) of Directive 71/118/EEC.
(29) Muscle meat of fish and fishery products as defined in categories (a), (b), (c), (e) and (f) of the list in Article 1 of Council Regulation (EC) No 104/2000 (OJ L 17, 21.1.2000, p.22). The maximum level applies to crustaceans excluding the brown meat of crab and to cephalopods without viscera.
(30) Milk (raw milk, milk for the manufacture of milk-based products and heat treated milk as defined in Council Directive 92/46/EEC (OJ L 268, 14.9.1992, p.1) as last amended by Council Directive 94/71/EC (OJ L368, 31.12.1994, p.33).
(31) Hen eggs and egg products as defined in Article 2 of Council Directive 89/437/EEC (OJ L 212, 22.07.1989, p.87).
(32) Free-range or semi-intensive eggs as defined in Article 18 of Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1274/91 (OJ L121, 16.5.1991, p.1) must comply with the maximum level laid down as from 1 January 2004."
ANNEX: Maximum limits for dioxin in feedingstuffs
(1) upperbound concentrations; upperbound concentrations are calculated assuming that all values of the different congeners less than the limit of determination are equal to the limit of determination.
(2) These maximum limits shall be reviewed for the first time before 31 December 2004 in the light of new data on the presence of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs, in particular with a view to the inclusion of dioxin-like PCBs in the levels to be set and will be further reviewed before 31 December 2006 with the aim of significantly reducing of the maximum levels.
(3) Fresh fish directly delivered and used without intermediate processing for the production of feedingstuffs for fur animals is exempted from the maximum limit. The products, processed animal proteins produced from these fur animals cannot enter the food chain and the feeding thereof is prohibited to farmed animals which are kept, fattened or bred for the production of food."