AGRICULTURE COUNCIL : MINISTERS AGREE TO IMPROVE TRACKING OF DIOXIN CONTAMINATION RISKS.

 
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The EU's agriculture ministers met, on 24 January in Brussels, to continue their discussion on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and to debate bee protection, support for the pig meat market and, above all, the dioxin crisis in Germany. Health Commissioner John Dalli commented that the German scandal has "clearly demonstrated the reliability of the entire food safety system" and that dioxin, a residue of industrial or natural combustion that can be carcinogenic at high doses, does not represent "immediate health risks for consumers". He added, however, that it would be useful to make adjustments so as to guarantee greater safety. Four proposals will be presented in February to the Union's Standing Committee on the Food Chain with the aim of limiting human errors and fraud.

The European Commission supports the introduction of a strict separation at EU level between the production of edible and industrial fats. The Commission's idea is also to strengthen controls for high-risk materials and for private laboratories. The latter would be obliged to report positive dioxin tests to the authorities.

MANDATORY AUTHORISATION FOR PLANTS

The EU executive will also propose mandatory authorisation for plants that produce fatty acids and fats to ensure better control of these activities. These ideas...

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