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.


FVO Reports – Pesticide controls in UK? Not the best probably…

From the following report of the Food Veterinary Office (here you can read the executive summary) seems that United Kingdoms not doing so well about pesticides controls. Click here to read and download the full report.

The report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit in the United Kingdom, carried out between 14 to 22 October 2013, under the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official food and feed controls and Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 on the placing of plant protection products on the market.

The objective of the audit was to evaluate the system of authorisation and the controls on the marketing and use of pesticides. A comprehensive system is in place in the UK for the authorisation of pesticides. Authorisation procedures are fully in line with EU requirements. However, the deadlines prescribed in EU legislation for authorisation and re-registration of pesticides are not met in about ten percent of the cases.

There are no systematic, risk-based controls on the marketing of pesticides. Compliance of pesticides with requirements of the authorisation, including labels are not checked at distributors. Instead, investigations are initiated only in response to complaints or information on potential non-compliances obtained from external sources. There are certain initiatives for coordinated controls by the relevant authorities in order to combat illegal pesticides.

Although the formulation laboratory has the necessary capability for comprehensive controls, the number of pesticide samples analysed and the method of sampling does not provide adequate assurance for detection of non-compliances. Although there are regular risk based controls on the use of pesticides at growers, in the framework of the cross compliance controls, the system does not cover about 10-15% of professional users in the UK, including numerous large and medium size fruit and vegetable farms.

Different central competent authorities (CAs) are responsible for official controls in the different countries of the UK. The central competent authorities have no information about the controls carried out by the local authorities. Therefore the UK does not provide an annual report to the Commission on the scope and results of official controls on the marketing and use of pesticides, as required by EU legislation.

There are detailed procedures in place for enforcement in the case of non-compliances, including prosecution and the application of penalties. However, the CAs do not always take appropriate actions to ensure that the operator remedies the situation. Sanctions are not always effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

The report makes a number of recommendations to the CAs, aimed at rectifying the shortcomings identified and enhancing the implementation of control measures.