[ Diretor: Mário Frota [ Coordenador Editorial: José Carlos Fernandes Pereira [ Fundado em 30-11-1999 [ Edição III [ Ano XII

quarta-feira, 22 de novembro de 2017

Organic food: green light for fresh EU rules

  • Stricter checks in the supply chain
  • New EU anti-contamination rules
  • Imported food to comply with EU standards
MEPs want to strengthen the EU's organic logo to increase consumer trust in products bearing the label. 
New rules to increase consumer trust in organic foodstuffs and unleash the sector′s potential for growth were approved by the Agriculture Committee on Wednesday.

MEPs gave the go-ahead to the new EU law on organic production and labelling, as agreed by Parliament’s negotiators and EU governments on 28 June and endorsed on Monday by the Council’s Special Committee on Agriculture, by 29 votes to 11, with four abstentions.

To increase consumers’ trust:

  • Strict, risk-based checks along the supply chain that, on Parliament’s insistence, will be on-site and for all operators, at least annually or one every two years if no fraud is found in the last three years.

  • Imports to comply with EU standards: current “equivalence” rules, requiring non-EU countries to comply with similar but not the same standards, will be phased out within five years; to avoid supply being suddenly disrupted, the Commission could, for a renewable period of two years, allow imports of specific products, even if not fully compliant with EU standards (e.g. due to specific climate conditions).

  • Contamination with pesticides: farmers will be obliged to apply precautionary measures to avoid contamination; if a non-authorised pesticide or fertiliser is suspected to be present, the final product should not bear the organic label until further investigation; if contamination was deliberate, or the farmer failed to apply newly introduced precautionary measures, the product will lose its organic status.

  • Member states currently applying thresholds for non-authorised substances in organic food, such as pesticides, could continue to do so, if they allow other EU countries’ organic foodstuffs complying with EU rules to access their markets.

Four years after entry into force of this regulation, the Commission would report back on how efficient the EU anti-contamination rules and national thresholds are and, if need be, come up with a draft law to harmonise them.

To boost EU organic food production:

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