The legal background the control of food manufacture

In addition to the EC controls over the labelling of food, there are measures to control its manufacture. Directive 89/397/EEC on the Official Control of Foodstuffs deals with the manufacture of food and provides for it to be controlled at the point of manufacture. The main purpose of the legislation is to provide powers for enforcement officers to enter food production premises, inspect the operation and examine recipes in order to ensure that relevant legal provisions are being complied with. The Directive also requires each Member State to take the responsibility for food originating in its territory irrespective of its ultimate destination. As with most EC law, enforcement is a matter for individual Member States and reflects their patterns of government. In the UK enforcement is the responsibility of local authority Trading Standards and Environmental Health Departments, whereas in France it is enforced nationally by the Services de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Repression des Fraudes. One of the problems highlighted has been the variation in the pattern of enforcement amongst the Member States. In an attempt to rectify this, the European Commission has been running the Karolous Programme for a number of years. This initiative allows enforcement officers to spend time with their colleagues in other Member States and observe their operating methods with a view to achieving greater uniformity of enforcement. At officer level, bodies such as FLEP (Food Law Enforcement Practitioners) provide a forum for the exchange of views on food law enforcement. Even at a local level, unofficial visits have been arranged between French and British officials in order to foster a better understanding of each other's problems and working practices. All of these moves are to be encouraged, as one of the greatest enemies of free competition and a true single market is a lack of uniformity in enforcement.

0 0

Post a comment