The Commission of the European Union (EU) has published the results of its evaluation of the EU’s legislative framework in connection with its food safety laws.
Published in mid-January, the evaluation, entitled “Fitness Check on the General Food Law Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 178/2002),” is part of the Commission’s Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT), a programme intended to evaluate the ongoing relevance and applicability of EU laws and regulations in a given area.
The Commission’s Food Fitness evaluation covers the period from 2002-2013 in the 28 EU Member States, and evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of the current legislative framework, while also identifying areas where the legislation has “added value” to the Union’s oversight of food safety.
In general, the Commission’s evaluation determined that the General Food Law Regulation “has achieved its core objectives,” with no “system failures identified,” and “is still relevant today with respect to current trends: growth and competitiveness and increased globalisation.” At the same time, however, the evaluation notes that the current Regulation is “less adequate…(in addressing) new challenges like food sustainability in general, and more specifically, food waste.”
The evaluation also notes that “national differences in the implementation and enforcement of the EU legislative framework…occur…on a case-by-case basis, and that “transparency of risk analysis remains an important issue.” Further, “lengthy authorisation procedures in some sectors…slow down the market entry process.”
It is anticipated that the findings in the Commission’s Food Fitness evaluation will help to inform future efforts to update and modify the EU’s food safety laws and regulations.
The text of the Commission’s evaluation on the EU’s General Food Law is available here.