Question from Estelle, Brussels:
“After the horse meat scandal, what is Europe doing to ensure food safety?”
Answer by Monique Goyens, Director General of the BEUC, the European Consumers’ Organisation:
“First of all, let’s remember that the horse meat scandal is not about food security but about consumer fraud, which is just as unacceptable, of course.
“Let me remind you that, in Europe, we are in the safest part of the world when it comes to food, and that most incidents are due to consumers’ bad management of their fridges.
“But let me remind you of two important things: we are currently in a period of economic crisis, where there is a tendency to lower norms in order to reduce costs for the food industry. That means a drop in vigilance and therefore a risk of reducing food security.
“It is important for Europe to maintain its standards especially faced with pressure from the United States, which, when it comes to international trade negotiations, will probably want to export products to Europe which are not up to our standards.
Secondly: if they really want to have a food safety net, EU member states must provide their authorities with sufficiant control funding in order to carry out controls and especially unannounced controls in food producing companies.”
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