Thank God it’s Friday! Quick news from the food world (Week 39)

Here’s my selection of article for the week:

– WHO Study Measures Global Burden of Listeriaby James Andrews on in 2010, Listeria monocytogenes was estimated to infect 23,150 people worldwide. It killed 5,463 of them, or 23.6 percent, according to a new study by European researchers in the World Health Organization (WHO) published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.


– Incoming EU food safety commissioner wants deal over meat labelling, by Carmen Paun, in Brussels, on the European Commission should review the issue of country-of-origin labelling (COOL) for meat in processed food and assess who would pay for such a measure, the health and food safety commissioner-designate Vytenis Andriukaitis said today.

– Current rules on GM crops ‘create conflict’, says European Commissioner-designate, by Caroline Scott-Thomas+; the European Commissioner-elect for health and food safety has said he intends to review rules on GM crop cultivation and broker compromise on animal cloning, among other top-priority topics.


– Hong Kong to toughen cooking oil Regulation, by Li Jing: the proposed changes to the laws would include provisions that substandard or recycled cooking oil must not be used as an ingredient for oil manufactured in Hong Kong. Importers of edible oils will also need to get certificates issued by the place of origin to prove their  products are up to standard. At the same time, food manufacturers and restaurants will be required to pass on their used cooking oil to a designated recycler.


– Papaya liar? Italy issues €250,000 fine over ‘distorted’ health claimsby Shane Starling+, on an Italian botanical supplements manufacturer has been given 30 days to pay a €250,000 fine after local authorities busted it for grossly exaggerated and unsubstantiated web-based health claims around immunity, diabetes, HIV, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.


– Commission opens infraction proceedings against UK’s ‘traffic light’ label, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , on the European Commission has formally opened infraction proceedings against the UK for its ‘traffic light’ food labelling system, giving the state two months to defend itself against business complaints.


EC intends to reduce food legislation – Tonio Borg calls for rationalization

EPP LEADERS MEET IN DUBLIN 14 April 2008 - Ton...
Tonio Borg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just few months ago, in one of my articles, I’ve talked about the concept of “simplification”.

In a world overwhelmed by inputs and information (…and by laws…) I think that this could be the key of the success in the business, as well as for defining an effective legislation.

In a recent news conference Health Commissioner Tonio Borg seems to share my thoughts.

Following the horse meat scandal (which he correctly defines as “not a question of food safety, but a deliberate fraudulent labelling to make economic gain”), he announces the intention to reduce the current food chain safety legislation to just five acts.

The new legislation in his intention would:

– increase the fines;
– increase the unannounced inspections;
– give to Commission more binding powers towards Member States, about testing under this legislation.

The origin labelling will not be including in this project, and it will be discussing independently.

The enforcement of this legislative package is estimated by the EC for the year 2016. You can find more information and a video at this EC webpage on “Smarter rules for safer food”, along with the links to:

– “Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on official controls”;

“Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Animal Health”.