I am delighted with the political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council on the novel food proposal. This agreement brings us closer to a more effective regulatory environment that will allow businesses to bring innovative food to market, whilst ensuring the highest possible levels of food safety for European consumers.
This agreement is about innovation, new technologies and simplification.
European citizens will be able to enjoy a broader choice of food.
Europe's agri-food industry – the second largest employment sector in Europe – will benefit from innovation and will contribute to the creation of more jobs and growth.
In reality, products such as chia seeds that we enjoy today went through a lengthy authorisation process before they reach our plates. Thanks to a centralised EU authorisation system the procedure for applicants will be simplified and will provide them with greater legal certainty. This process will be underpinned by independent scientific risk assessment, carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and will enable safe, innovative food to reach consumers faster.
Special provisions are made for food which has never been marketed in the EU, but which has a proven history of safe use in non-EU countries. This creates a fairer system for traditional foods from non-EU countries and a favourable environment for trade.
Promoting food innovation is an important feature in the agreement. Under the new system, the company will be given the authorisation to market the food for 5 years, provided it creates innovation that is supported by new scientific data.
I extend my thanks to both the European Parliament and the Council's Presidency for finding common ground. This agreement secures the way to bringing down barriers to using innovative technologies and techniques in the food sector, whilst ensuring safety.
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