Food defense requirements in EU?

During the next meeting of the ENVI Committee (Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the EU Parliament), on 27-28th February, there will be an extremely interesting exchange of views with the EU Commission about the food defense topic.

This is a very very preliminary step and no specific initiative at EU level at the moment is foreseen, but for sure it could be a starting point in that sense.

Here below an extract from the ENVI Committee report, explaining where do we stand now:

“Food defense means the protection of food from intentional contamination or adulteration by biological, chemical, physical, or radiological agents. It includes measures regarding prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery from intentional acts of food contamination.

The WHO, in 2007, identified intentional food contamination as one of the main global health threats of the 21st century and stated that food has become an instrument for terrorist attacks.

In the European food industry, food defense is a rather new concept, unlike in the USA where the concept of food defense originated and where it is extensively regulated. In the past years, incidents such as terrorist attacks and food fraud have contributed to the development and implementation of food defense systems in at least some Member States.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in 2001 in the US, the “Health and Security Committee” was set up in the EU. This group was given a formal status and assigned specific tasks in 2013, when Decision 1082/2013/EU on serious cross-border threats was adopted. At global level, the Commission also participates in the Global Health Security Initiative on CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) threats, working closely with the WHO and the G7+ states to create a global strategy for preparedness and response to potential health threats.

However, there is no comprehensive regulation of food defense at EU level. In view of the rising importance of the issue, the objective of this exchange of views is to discuss existing EU and Member State policies and to hear the Commission’s point of view in relation to possible EU action in this area.”

(Source: ENVI Committee, European Parliament)

Turin 16th-17th November 2015: US Business Forum – The Food Marketing in the US

To help businesses and professionals juggling in the difficult landscape of compliance and of export licenses issues, the Chamber of Commerce of Turin has organized a focus of two days dedicated to the US market.

The program includes, in the first day the 16th November, the involvement of a number of qualified American speakers, who will be personally present in Turin, to cover a large series of general themes and issues that affect the companies interested in this market.

The next day, November 17th, which I will participate as a speaker, it will be organized by the Turin Chamber of Commerce Chemical Laboratory and it will be dedicated to an intensive training on food export.

The food products export in the US requires preliminary verification of the requirements and regulations applicable to labeling, but also hygiene and food safety prescriptions has to be met. These requirements are widely different from those provided in the EU and must be respected for customs clearance and market products. The context in which the entrepreneur is operating is extremely complex and the competent authorities are different, depending on whether it relates to plant products or animal products.

There will be also an interesting session about food defense, held by Franco Aquilano of IsevenServizi, my trusted technical partners.

Here, you can find the complete program.