Today, the European Commission published its 2021 report of the Alert and Cooperation Network which shows that 2021 recorded the highest number of exchanges ever reached, in what can be considered a testament to the increased cooperation in Europe on the safety of food and feed. In particular, 4607 notifications were transmitted through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) linked to health risks in relation to food or feed, 2290 Administrative Assistance and Cooperation notifications (non-compliances with the European Union agri-food chain legislation that do not present a priori a health risk), while 407 suspicions of fraud were also detected. The presence of Ethylene Oxide (468 notifications) was reported the most, resulting in pesticides being the most important hazard notified (1231), a 61% increase with 2020. Among suspicions of fraud, the most frequent notifications were related to the illegal movement of cats and dogs with 114 in total, while more than half of those involved animals coming from non-EU countries. Pets were often accompanied by counterfeit health certificates, illegally issued EU passports providing false information on the origin, or forged rabies anti-body laboratory results. The latter is of particular concern for animals coming from countries where rabies remains widespread. The report also flags that E-commerce is also becoming a more and more important route by which certain foods reach consumers. In 2021, a total of 281 RASFF notifications related to e-commerce as the main way of trade. Half of notifications about products traded online concerned dietetic foods, food supplements and fortified foods, followed by food contact material, reported in one third of the notifications. The EU Alert and Cooperation Network is made up of members of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed network (RASFF), the Administrative Assistance and Cooperation network (AAC) and the Agri-Food Fraud Network (FFN).
2021 ACN annual report