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Food & Drink in the EU

Latest news on food policies in the European Union.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
The EU's common agricultural policy (CAP) is aimed at helping European farmers meet the need to feed more than 500 million Europeans. Its main objectives are to provide a stable, sustainably produced supply of safe food at affordable prices for consumers, while also ensuring a decent standard of living for 22 million farmers and agricultural workers.

Consumer and Health Protection DG
Over the years the European Union has established EU laws on the safety of food and other products, on consumers' rights and on the protection of people's health. The Health and Consumer Protection Directorate General has the task of keeping these laws up to date.

Biological Safety of Food in the EU
Biological hazards include bacteria, viruses, parasites, prions, biotoxins. Some of these hazards have posed serious risks to public health, such as Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, biotoxins in live molluscs or BSE. Exposure of consumers to those through food should thus be prevented. A comprehensive legal framework has been established by the European Commission to increase the level of food safety in Europe, building over time European consumers' confidence while preventing food crises. It is based on scientific advice delivered by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Food Safety in the EU
The EU integrated approach to food safety aims to assure a high level of food safety, animal health, animal welfare and plant health within the European Union through coherent farm-to-table measures and adequate monitoring, while ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market.

Food Labelling in the EU
In the European Union, rules are put in place on the labelling of foodstuffs to enable European consumers to get comprehensive information on the contents and the composition of food products. Labelling helps consumers to make an informed choice while purchasing their foodstuffs.

Animal Welfare in the EU
With the support and close co-operation of the Member States, the European Commission has been promoting animal welfare for over 40 years gradually improving the lives of farm animals. An important step in 1998 was Council Directive 98/58/EC on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes which gave general rules for the protection of animals of all species kept for the production of food, wool, skin or fur or for other farming purposes, including fish, reptiles or amphibians. These rules are based on the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes.

European Food Law Association
The European Food Law Association (EFLA) is an international scientific association. Its essential goal is to study and to promote Food Law, as well as to contribute to its development and to its international harmonisation while taking into account its specificity, its interdisciplinary nature and its special function, the protection of the consumers.

EU sugar sector
European Commission site on reform of the EU sugar market, with Facts and figures on sugar in the European Union.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), established in 2005, is an EU agency with the aim of strengthening Europe's defences against infectious diseases. It is seated in Stockholm, Sweden. The ECDC's mission, according to Article 3 of the founding Regulation, is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases. In order to achieve this mission, ECDC works in partnership with national health protection bodies across Europe to strengthen and develop continent-wide disease surveillance and early warning systems. By working with experts throughout Europe, ECDC pools Europe's health knowledge, so as to develop authoritative scientific opinions about the risks posed by current and emerging infectious diseases.

Soft fruits for processing - EU report
In 2004, the market of several soft fruits and other red fruits intended for processing was in a situation of crisis with low producer prices. In the context of the discussions on the simplification of the Common Market Organisation for fruits and vegetables at the Council in November 2004, the Presidency requested the Commission to carry out an analysis of the situation of the sector and, if necessary, bring forward proposals to address specific problems.