30 March 2015 | Online since 2003



MEPs call for measures to stop food fraud


Recent food fraud cases, including the sale of horse meat as beef, should prompt the EU to review the functioning of the food production chain, step up checks and revise labelling legislation, says a non-legislative resolution approved on Tuesday.

Recent food fraud cases include horse meat sold as beef, road salt sold as food salt, the use of alcohol containing methanol in spirits, dioxin-contaminated fats discovered in animal feed, labels that state the wrong species of fish and the mislabelling of seafood, MEPs note.

The European Parliament voices concern at the growth in food fraud, which it says exploits structural weaknesses in the production chain. MEPs argue that food fraud risks are aggravated by the complexity and cross-frontier nature of this chain, coupled with the essentially national nature of inspections, penalties and enforcement measures.

"The first problem is a lack of comparable data, which means that it is difficult to get an exact picture of the problem. However, we know that we are talking about billions of euros here. Organised crime is clearly getting interested in this" said rapporteur Esther De Lange (EPP, NL).

"Unlike the US, the European Union still has no common definition of ‘food fraud’, which has long been a blind spot of European institutions. Food fraud cases are the rotten apples that spoil matters for all those farmers, intermediaries and individuals who do respect the rules and destroy consumer confidence in food and food information" she added.

Her own-initiative report was approved by 659 votes to 24, with 8 abstentions.

DNA tests and stating the country of origin

The text calls for an EU-wide harmonised definition of food fraud and calls on the European Commission to strengthen the EU Food and Veterinary Office (FVO), which carries out inspections. It also calls for the establishment of a European network to combat food fraud and proposes that DNA tests should be used more widely, to eliminate any species fraud.

MEPs called for more thorough inspections of frozen foodstuffs and for a draft law to make labelling mandatory for meat and fish. Traceability would be improved by making it mandatory to state the country of origin, they observe, including for all meat-based processed products.

Dissuasive penalties

MEPs considered that EU member states should fix food fraud penalties of at least twice the estimated economic gain sought by the fraudster, and criminal law penalties for cases in which fraud endangers public health.

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


11 March 2015
Food/Horticulture/Agriculture Graduate
We are looking for a horticulture, agriculture or food graduate who is looking for their first career opportunity....

18 March 2015
Cafe / Kitchen Seasonal Staff
Hardy's Animal Farm Ingoldmells Cafe / Kitchen Seasonal Staff required Tel: 07768...

17 March 2015
Transport Coordinator
Knowledge of the area and agriculture would be an advantage as would a valid CPC. This is an exciting opportunity to join our...

10 March 2015
Senior Pricing Analyst
Supporting a range of motor products (including Van, Fleet, Motor Trade and Farm), you will be part of a team responsible for...

9 March 2015
Farm Hand
Are looking for a motivated, self-employed person to join our farm team two days a week working with beef cattle, feeding and...




Top stories you may have missed
23 March 2015 | Cattle

UK butchers face difficulties to recruit...

Butchers in the UK are losing a generation through lack of training opportu...


20 March 2015 | Arable

Dust - the secret fertiliser?

NASA research has revealed how dust blown from the Sahara desert helps supp...


19 March 2015 | Arable

The Budget 2015: A Farmer's Budget?

“In the run up to the Budget 2015 most commentators were predicting that th...


17 March 2015 | News

UK's first floating solar power system l...

The UK’s first fully operational floating solar panel system has been unvei...


13 March 2015 | Animal Health

Labour and Conservatives clash over badg...

Axing the badger cull in England and Wales will save more than £120 million...


12 March 2015 | News

Solar could be cheapest energy source by...

By 2025, solar power could become one of the cheapest forms of energy in ma...


11 March 2015 | Finance

English buyers turn their attention to S...

Demand for Scottish farm land remains strong and continues to be better val...


9 March 2015 | Cattle

2020 vision for the Welsh red meat indus...

The Welsh red meat industry should aim to increase sales by at least 34 per...


6 March 2015 | News

MP raises egg industry concerns on trans...

Fears about the impact that a proposed transatlantic trade agreement could ...


Stay safe and legal when flying drones

The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Unmanned Aircraft Systems - or dron...