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Food


Improving consumer information is an essential and important step towards protecting consumer health — labelling, presentation and advertising of products undoubtedly influence consumers’ behaviour and purchasing decisions.

The Council is currently negotiating two proposals concerning the addition of certain substances to food and information designed to convey a particular health advantage to the consumer respectively:

  • proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on the addition of vitamins and minerals, as well as certain other substances, to food
  • proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on nutrition- and health-related information on food.

Both regulations are key instruments in that they aim to prevent the products concerned from posing a threat to public health and to enable consumers to make informed decisions.

Aims:

  • Final agreement with the European Parliament
  • Work on proposals to harmonise regulations on food ingredients, such as additives, flavourings and enzymes.

Food safety

The European Union paved the way for a new approach to food policy with the publication in January 2000 of the White Paper on Food Safety. Since then, important steps have been taken to harmonise food law and food inspection. The most important structural step was the creation of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2002.

In 2006, a number of new members will be appointed to the EFSA Management Board, a matter to which Austria attaches great importance.

The smooth running of the EFSA is a major concern, and for this reason the results of the external independent evaluation of the EFSA will have to be discussed at Council level. Financing issues will, of course, also be dealt with in this context.

 

Date: 15.12.2005