For consumers, safety is the most important ingredient of their food. Recent crises have undermined public confidence in the capacity of the food industry and of public authorities to ensure that food is safe. The European Commission has identified food safety as one of its top priorities. The White Paper on Food Safety of January 12, 2000 sets out the plans for a proactive new food policy: modernising legislation into a coherent and transparent set of rules, reinforcing controls from the farm to the table and increasing the capability of the scientific advice system, so as to guarantee a high level of human health and consumer protection.
The Commission received comments from more than one hundred interested parties on the White Paper.
The Strategic Priorities of the White Paper are:
- to create a European Food Safety Authority
- to consistently implement a farm to table approach in food legislation
- to establish the principle that feed and food operators have primary responsibility for food safety; that Member States need to ensure surveillance and control of these operators; that the Commission shall test the performance of Member States' control capacities and capabilities through audits and inspections