EU coordinated actions

EU coordinated actions

The Commission carries out, every week, a screening of all notifications reported in the Administrative Assistance and Cooperation (AAC) system and in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).

The objective is to identify a potential intentional violation of the EU agri-food chain legislation which may have remained undetected by Member States and potential violations of the EU agri-food chain which might need an adequate coordination and follow up at EU level.

These notifications are identified in RASFF to the attention of the EU countries for further reaction or transferred directly to the EU Food Fraud Network for further treatment and action. Stakeholders are also informed when new or unexpected fraudulent schemes are detected.

The Commission services - at the request of one or more EU countries or by its own initiative – can coordinate activities at EU level. This happens when operators in several EU countries are involved in a possible fraudulent scheme, when operators in non-EU countries might be involved and when the suspicion presents either a health risk or a significant socio-economic risk.

Decision criteria for such coordination at EU level take into account the seriousness of those risks, the reliability of the information available and its similarity to previous occurrences.

When the suspicion is related to imported products, the Commission works with the concerned non-EU countries and asks for targeted information and investigations.

Very concrete results have been achieved in the fight against food fraud thanks to the cooperation between EU countries in the framework of the AAC and between EU countries and non-EU countries. And also thanks to consumer awareness and industry vigilance, with the scientific support from the Knowledge Centre for Food Fraud and Quality - Joint Research Centre and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Here are a few past cases regarding food fraud that had a successful outcome:

2019

Fight against food fraud: joint action on organic products

2018

Commission's contribution to Europol/Interpol action against fraudulent fresh tuna

2017

Fipronil

Beeswax

2016

Substitution of hazelnuts for peanuts

Seafood from Vietnam treated with EU unauthorised drugs