10th July, 2018
A year after a scandal about eggs tainted with the insecticide fipronil, consumer advocacy group Foodwatch has called on the European Union to strengthen its regulations on tainted and unhealthy food.
“The EU is not protecting 500 million consumers in Europe from health hazards and fraud in the food market,’’ Foodwatch head Thilo Bode said ahead of a press conference in Brussels on Tuesday.
Fipronil was detected in millions of eggs in no less than 45 countries, including 26 of the 28 EU member states, a year ago.
Meanwhile, the insecticide was used illegally against pests in barns.
On July 20, 2017, the EU member states were informed about the contamination by the Food and Feed Safety Alerts system (RASFF).
“Foodwatch is demanding changes to the European General Food Law Regulation so that food can be traced back along the whole production chain.
“It also wants quicker and more comprehensive reactions to inform the public in case of violations,’’ it noted.
Foodwatch said that there was a delay of over two months between the first indications of contamination in Belgium and the time the public was informed.
According to Foodwatch, the consumer group is also demanding that the names of producers and products be identified in the case of fraud of risk to health.
The European General Food Law Regulation came into force in 2001 in the wake of the “mad cow disease” scandal, while a reform in April aimed to improve risk assessment.