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Food safety is our biggest area of
activity. Experience shows that the whole "food
chain" has to be adressed to be serious about
safety. The EU has laws covering how farmers
produce food (including what chemicals they use
when growing plants and what they feed their
animals), how food is processed, how it is sold
and what sort of information is provided on the
labelling. The EU also has laws regulating the
safety of food imported into the EU, laws to
prevent the spread of animal and plant diseases
in the EU and laws on the humane treatment of
We have about 250 officials based in
Brussels who work to keep the EU's laws on food
safety up to date and a further 100 or so
officials based in Grange, Ireland whose job it
is to verify that EU countries - and countries
exporting food to the EU - observe the rules.
We also have other Brussels-based officials who
liaise with international organisations and the
EU's trading partners on food and farming
issues, and who run the EU's "rapid alert"
system on food safety issues.