European Commission - Press release
Member States endorse EU measures to better prevent dioxin contamination in food and feed
Brussels, 21 October 2011 – The protection of consumers and industry against a possible dioxin contamination will soon improve significantly thanks to a Commission proposal, which was endorsed today by the Member States at the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH). In particular, four measures, which are to be implemented throughout the EU by mid next year, will further reduce the risk of contamination in the food chain. These measures will avoid food recalls from the market and significant financial costs to the consumers and industries.
John Dalli, EU Health and Consumer Commissioner welcomed the support of the Member States for the Commission proposal and added: "The decision taken today is the EU's response to last winter's dioxin crisis. We had promised to act and the implementation of what was adopted today will result in additional security along the food and feed chain. It will further contribute to our already solid food safety system in the EU."
Dioxin incidents, such as the one in Germany earlier this year, pose a risk for consumer safety and result in huge direct and indirect costs for the economy and society in general. The Commission investigated thoroughly the origin of that dioxin contamination incident. The following concrete measures, adopted today by SCoFCAH, are based on the outcome of that investigation:
On January 24, Commissioner Dalli announced the Commission's intention to introduce measures following the dioxin incident in Germany. Intense negotiations with the concerned industry including the farmers and the competent authorities in the Member States followed that announcement. They were concluded with the adoption of the four aforementioned measures.
The Commission believes that the measures will allow regulators to exercise better, and EU-harmonised, control over critical points in the feed chain. Although this measure will result in some costs on the industry, the actions are targeted and annual costs will amount to just a small percentage of the costs of one dioxin incident.
The draft Regulation received a positive opinion from Member States in today's SCoFCAH by qualified majority. It will now be sent to the European Parliament and Council for scrutiny before the Commission can officially approve it. The regulation is expected to enter into force in mid 2012.
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