Don’t delay General Food Law, BEUC urges Members of European Parliament
PRESS STATEMENT - 17.10.2018
Ahead of their meeting today, BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation, is calling on MEPs in charge of preparing the EU Parliament’s position on the General Food Law revision not to give up on pursuing a first reading deal with the Council before the EU elections.
MEPs are considering whether they should continue working towards completing the legislative procedure under this European Parliament, which had been their goal up until last week.
In April, the European Commission published a law proposal to increase the transparency of food safety assessments by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The Commission plans would require EFSA to publish non-confidential parts of industry-funded studies that support safety evaluations of products such as pesticides, food additives or novel foods for instance. Under EU law, industry must prove its products are safe before it can put them on the market. But today, the studies industry pays for and submits to EFSA as part of a product authorisation request remain secret.
BEUC supports making EFSA scientific assessments more transparent, as it can help strengthen consumer trust in the EU food regulatory system. Whilst the original Commission proposal must be improved, we urge the EU institutions to strive to deliver a deal on a final text still under this parliamentary term.
BEUC Director-General Monique Goyens commented:
"We hear, and certainly share, the MEPs’ concern over the need to get a good deal, not just a quick one.
"Yet EU consumers have long been calling for ending the secrecy around the studies which EFSA uses to appraise the safety of substances and ingredients meant to end up in our food. We do not believe they should wait much longer.
"By adopting an ambitious law that makes policy decisions on food safety less opaque to the public, the EU would send a strong signal that it cares for consumers. Therefore we urge the MEPs to work towards concluding this file under the current term."