Wednesday, September 21, 2011

EFSA chief warns EU vulnerable to food safety threats

The European Union (EU) Union européenneImage via WikipediaThe European Union (EU) is particularly susceptible to food safety threats, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) executive director Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle has warned.

“Europe is the biggest global trader in food products and the openness of the European market leaves us particularly vulnerable to food safety threats.”

A single food product could contain ingredients from across the world, many of which were produced to non-European standards.

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EU Community Legislation on Food Additives

The European Commission maintains a useful Web site of EU community legislation on food additives, which consists of a framework Directive and three specific Directives: colours; sweeteners; the remaining food additives. The Community Legislation on food additives is based on the principle that only those additives that are explicitly authorised may be used. Most food additives may only be used in limited quantities in certain foodstuffs. If no quantitative limits are foreseen for the use of a food additive, it must be used according to good manufacturing practice, i.e. only as much as necessary to achieve the desired technological effect. Food additives may only be authorised if (1) there is a technological need for their use; (2) they do not mislead the consumer; (3) they present no health hazard to the consumer.  Prior to their authorisation, food additives are evaluated for their safety by the European Food Safety Authority.

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