Written Q&A to EU Commission – Food frauds countermeasures

Question for written answer
to the Commission
Diane Dodds (NI)

25th September 2014

Subject:  Securing a safe and transparent food chain

The UK recently announced the establishment of a body tasked with combating crime within the food chain, the Food Crime Unit. This is very clearly a development resulting from the horse meat scandal.

Within this context, can the Commission provide an update as to what steps have been taken in recent months to secure a safe and transparent food chain on a European level?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission – 31st October 2014

The Commission confirms that continuous efforts are being deployed to implement and develop the initiatives mentioned in its answer to Written Question E ‐004498/2014.

Members of the network of national contact points for food fraud are increasingly engaged in cooperation and mutual assistance on cross-border cases. The network meets on a regular basis, showing to be also a useful forum for sharing experience.

Work is progressing on the setting up of a dedicated IT tool to serve the network above. This tool is going to support the data exchange between the Member States and with the Commission for the purpose of strengthening administrative assistance and cooperation.

To strengthen the capability of the control systems to detect food fraud ten modules of training on e-commerce and on investigation techniques are being offered in 2014-2015 under the Better Training for Safer Food programme.

A Conference on ‘Food fraud: a joint effort to ensure the safety and integrity of our food’ organised jointly by the Italian Presidency and the European Commission was held in Rome on 23-24 October 2014. It gathered organisations and bodies active at national and EU levels on the different aspects of the fight against food fraud.

Discussions are also ongoing with Member States on the possibility to develop further coordinated control plans in accordance with Article 53 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004

(Source: European Parliament website)

Written Q&A to EU Commission – Food frauds register?

Question for written answer to the Commission 16 January 2014
Marc Tarabella (S&D) , Jean Louis Cottigny (S&D)

Subject: European Food Fraud Register

Could the Commission, as repeatedly called for by the European Parliament, systematically gather data on cases of fraud and exchange good practices with a view to detecting and combatting food fraud?

Could the Commission publish the results of these exchanges?

Finally, and above all, does the Commission share Parliament’s opinion on the need to create a European register listing the different companies convicted of food fraud and to make it more accessible to the public?

Answer given by Mr. Borg on behalf of the Commission 27 February 2014

The Commission is currently working on the development of a dedicated IT system to strengthen Member States cooperation and ensure an efficient exchange of information on potential cross-border cases of economically motivated violations of food chain law. Such IT system will support the work of a recently created network of competent authorities dealing with potential fraud matters in the Member States.

The IT system in question will enable the rapid exchange of information between Member States in cross-border cases and will also allow the gathering of structured information on potential frauds and on best practices to combat them, to be shared with all concerned actors.

The Commission has no current plans to create an European register of companies convicted of food fraud. It is up to the Member States to decide how to handle and publish cases of fraudulent behavior in the food sector.

However the Commissioner intends to launch soon a study on the application of the existing legal framework, with the aim of assessing how existing rules deliver on the objective of preventing fraudulent or deceptive practices in accordance with Article 8 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002.

© European Union, 2014 – Source: European Parliament