Regulation 2017/625

The board had a great deal to discuss as since the last meeting the importance of this new regulation had become more apparent. It will cover all aspects of food safety, wholesomeness and food fraud throughout the European Union. EWFC worked hard during the passage of this legislation through the EU trialogue process, which involved members of the board communicating with and offering advice to, “Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)”. Some sections of the above show the influence of our representations. When EWFC advices on any subject our first aim is to help create law that will protect consumers. We believe that we have gained a reputation for sound technical advice in this area.

Food Fraud

We have found it difficult to arrive at an exact definition of the above. Member associations have been asked to send written comments on this subject for consideration at the spring 2018 meeting in Berlin.

Fipronil crisis

The crisis caused by the use of the substance fipronil as pesticide in stables to fight red lice in laying hens. Its presence in eggs and the way the crisis was handled in the member states was discussed. It was evident that it had cost member states a great deal of money and showed once again that strong regulation and enforcement is needed in all areas of food inspection. The very high cost of this incident focused attention on who should pay for the control of a problem caused by individuals breaking the law and who should bear the cost of inspection in general. The source of funding of various official controls varies across EWFC’s representative member states and this is an ongoing subject of interesting discussions.  It is the opinion of the board that the introduction of private agencies to carry out official controls is not a good idea and often leads to conflicts of interest and a lowering of standards.

Tuberculosis

In almost all EWFC member states this disease is becoming more of a problem. The exact reason for the re-emergence of this problem is uncertain.  Wild animals may be vectors of infection but some of the initiatives used to control this perceived problem have proved very unpopular with elements of the public.

Replacement for regulation 854/2004

It was announced, with the introduction of 2017/625, that 854/2004 would be repealed in December 2019. As 854/2004 contains the detail of official controls of food of animal origin its replacement is of particular interest to EWFC’s meat inspector members. We are watching this process closely and we will use any influence we have to ensure the replacement legislation protects consumers as much as possible.

Transparency/Publishing the results of inspections

This subject has seen some very enthusiastic debates at board meetings. It is obvious that practises vary widely across the EU. The board cannot agree whether this is a good thing that reflects national characteristics or is a bad indictment of the Union for having no uniform system or standard. This subject will, undoubtedly, continue to be discussed in detail.

New member state associations

The board is trying hard to find other associations of food or meat inspectors across the EU who want to join our organisation. We would like to hear from anyone who has contacts with such associations.

General Assembly

All the positions on the board, that were up for election, were filled, in most cases with the existing person who was willing to stand again. The presidency changed from Belgium to Austria.  The board thanked outgoing delegate Mr. Benoit Meurisse, from Belgium, for all his hard work and welcomed Mr. Gunther Frühwirth of Austria as the new President for his term. The financial position was reported as sound.

Website

The board would like to make the above more multilingual, but this is very difficult. Changes will soon mean that the framework of the site will appear in the language of the country it is accessed in but the articles on the site will remain in the language they were posted in. (mainly English)

 

01-12-2017 10:Dec:st
Print