Editorial 21: To modify the European Regulations
In 1978 the European Economic Community through its Council Directive 79/112/EEC on December 18th 1978 regulated the labelling of food based on the need to protect consumers.
21years later, the European Parliament updated the feed labelling through its Directive 2000/13/CE of the European Parliament and the Council on March 20th 2000 by considering it as the main Communications channel between food manufacturers and final consumers.
Currently, 11 years later, the European Parliament is discussing the possibility of changing that rule due to some Members of the main parties in the Parliament (Oreste Rossi from the Party for Freedom and Democracy, Crista Klass from the European “Partido Popular” and Matthias Groote from the Socialists and Democrats) say that it is not dangerous in case you consume some products after their expiry date. That legislation cause that huge quantities of tones of food, in good condition, are being thrown away, when there are people that die for hunger in many countries, and even some members of the Parliament qualified as a “crime” that in some fast food chains have to eliminate any food which has not being consumed within 10 minutes since its preparation.
Thus, we can deduce that legislation implanted supposedly to protect the consumers, which has caused the increase of prices in industrialisation and in food manufacturing, has impoverished part of the population and has contributed in creating more poverty and marginality, was based on reasons without foundations in opinion of the current European Chamber.
In situations like this one, one always wonders if legislations, usually too excessive, become counterproductive for the population of the EU where they live 79 million people below the poverty threshold, were implanted in good faith or being aware of their ineffectiveness were implanted in order to intervene to favour some lobbies (and consequently damaging who were not integrated in those lobbies), or to the enrichment of some Public Officers by offering some services.
If the measures take, in good faith or as a reaction against any kind of problem about food safety, despite of having been counterproductive, they should have deserved the disapproval from the Parliament.
However, if the measures were took under pressure, by any lobby or in order to establish any kind of interventionism or personal enrichment, the current Parliament should persecute the perpetrators and those who get richer by applying those measures.
It is a shame that initiatives from public organisms, that usually end in vague statements or condemn private entities and never punish those who from their public roles acted inappropriately.
The beginning of the review is based on a report presented by Anna Rosbach (European Conservative and Reformist Party) in the Commission of the Environment of the European Parliament that evaluated some ideas to improve the food chain. Among the most cited ideas, we can highlight the modification of rules about expiration, basing it on strict requirements of quality that oblige to throw tones of food despite of still being good for human consume.
We will have the solution in the Environment Committee of the Parliament next November 22nd, 2011 and a day later in the Agriculture Committee. From Veterinaria Digital we wonder the following: Will they modify the EU law about labelling? Will they dare to condemn the “criminals” (as Oreste Rossi said)? or on the contrary, they will modified very slightly due to the food crisis situation which is suffering part of the European population? Or even worse, they will do nothing.