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Food & Drink in the EU

Latest news on food policies in the European Union.

Sustainable use of pesticides
This European Commission website contains links to EU Member States' websites on sustainable use of pesticides, including Integrated Pest Management (IPM) , with a view to facilitate the exchange of information between them and increase the flow of relevant information to farmers and the general public.

EU countries should use pesticides more sustainably: report
A report on the sustainable use of pesticides Directive adopted on 10 October 2017 by the European Commission takes stock of progress made by the EU Member States in applying measures to reduce the risks and impacts of pesticides. It covers a wide range of topics such as aerial spraying, information to the public or training of professionals. The report indicates insufficient implementation of the Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides.

Court of Auditors to probe EU animal welfare measures
The European Court of Auditors has announced it is to examine whether the European Commission and the EU Member States have made effective contributions to the EU’s animal welfare objectives.

Commission supports EU states against substandard food
The EU Commission issued a set of guidelines Tuesday to help Member States determine whether a company is breaking EU laws when selling food products of dual quality in different countries.

Rapid Alert System for Food & Feed (RASFF)
Launched nearly four decades ago, in 1979, the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) is primarily an IT tool designed to swiftly exchange information between national authorities on health risks related to food and feed.

EU healthy eating scheme for schools under way
A new EU school fruit, vegetables and milk scheme for healthy eating was in place from 1 August, ready to be implemented across the European Union as of the first day of the 2017/2018 school year.

EU Member States vote to reduce presence of acrylamide carcinogen in food
EU Member States representatives voted Wednesday to reduce the presence in food of acrylamide - designated by the EU food safety agency as a carcinogenic substance in 2015.

EU Platform on Animal Welfare
The first meeting of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare (the Platform) took place on 6 June 2017. The Platform gathered 75 representatives from stakeholders, NGOs, scientists, Member States, EEA (European Economic Area) countries, international organisations and EFSA (European Food Safety Authority). This is the 1st time that all key EU players gathered to exchange experiences and contribute to improving the welfare of animals.

Welsh cider, perry gain EU protected food status
Traditional Welsh Perry and Welsh Cider celebrated with French Charolais beef Wednesday as the three quality products won protected food status from the European Commission.

MEPs call for blitz on EU food waste mountain
MEPs called Tuesday for a halving of food waste in the EU by 2030, by lifting existing restrictions on food donations and eliminating confusion about 'best before' and 'use by' labels.

44 pct food has some pesticide residues, not harmful: EU report
Food consumed in the European Union continues to be largely free of pesticide residues or to contain residues that fall within legal limits, new figures show.

Brussels mulls revision of excise duty rules
The EU Commission launched a consultation Wednesday on how excise duties are applied to alcohol and alcoholic beverages, as it eyes a revision of tax rules to support small drinks producers.

MEPs call on EU to tackle food waste mountain
MEPs on the European Parliament's Environment committee put forward a number of possible measures Tuesday to cut the EU 88 million tonnes per year food waste by half by 2030.

Tougher EU food inspections on the menu
The EU Parliament adopted plans Wednesday to tighten up official food inspections, aiming to improve food traceability, combat fraud and restore consumer trust in the integrity of the food chain.

Drinks industry asked to come up with alcohol labelling proposal
The European Commission has given the alcoholic drinks industry a year to develop a self-regulatory proposal that will provide information on ingredients and nutrition of all alcoholic beverages.

Child obesity: healthy food for schools guidance
The European Commission and Maltese Presidency presented Wednesday a valuable new resource to help public procurement authorities implement healthy food standards in schools.

Protected status for Welsh coracle-caught salmon
Salmon caught using the ancient Welsh traditional method of coracle fishing was awarded protected EU status Tuesday when it was added to the EU's quality register of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).

U.S. lifts ban on imports of French beef
The United States has lifted a ban on imports of beef from France, representing another step on the reopening of a market which has been closed since the 1990s BSE epidemic.

Control of TSEs (including BSE and scrapie)
Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) are a family of diseases occurring in man and animals and are characterised by a degeneration of brain tissue giving a sponge-like appearance leading to death The family includes diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) and Kuru in humans, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, Scrapie in small ruminants (sheep and goats), Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in cervids and Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy (TME) in minks. The commonly accepted cause of the TSE diseases is a transmissible agent called a prion (PrPres), which is an abnormal form of a protein.

Food Waste
Around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU, with associated costs estimated at 143 billion euros (FUSIONS, 2016). Wasting food is not only an ethical and economic issue but it also depletes the environment of limited natural resources. All actors in the food chain have a role to play in preventing and reducing food waste, from those who produce and process foods (farmers, food manufacturers and processors) to those who make foods available for consumption (hospitality sector, retailers) and ultimately consumers themselves. The central goal of EU food safety policy is to protect both human and animal health. We cannot compromise on these standards but, in co-operation with Member States and stakeholders, are looking for every opportunity to prevent food waste and strengthen sustainability of the food system. This website provides information on EU actions to tackle food waste, a repository of good practices in food waste prevention, communications materials to help raise awareness and a food waste resources library.

Food waste in the EU - factsheet
Around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU – around 20 per cent of all food produced, with associated costs estimated at EUR 143 billion. The EU is looking for every opportunity to prevent food waste and strengthen sustainability of the food system.

EFSA finalises guidance on novel and traditional food
The EU's food safety authority published Thursday guidance documents on novel food and traditional food from third countries to help ensure these foods are safe before marketing them in Europe.

EU-FORA - The EUropean FOod Risk Assessment Fellowship Programme
EFSA’s EU-FORA fellowship programme offers a unique opportunity to motivated early to mid-career scientists from EU national risk assessment authorities and any other Article 36 organisation to increase their knowledge and experience in food safety risk assessment. The programme’s principal focus lies on chemical and microbiological risk assessment. It is aimed at professionals from the following fields: molecular biology, biology, microbiology, veterinary/human medicine agronomy/agricultural science, biochemistry, chemistry, environmental science, food technology or toxicology.

MEPs call for limit on trans fats in food
The European Parliament voted Wednesday for mandatory limits on industrially-produced trans fats, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, infertility, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and obesity.

Trans fats
MEPs voted on 26 October on a resolution calling for limits on trans fats. These industrial artificially produced fats can be found in anything from fast food to bakery products, chips and margarine, however they can also prove bad for your health. Scientific research has linked heavy consumption of them with obesity, diabetes, infertility, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases.