Over the past 15 years, food policy in the European Region has been reshaped in response to a series of problems, beginning with the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis in Britain, and followed quickly by dioxin contamination of animal feed, resulting in the contamination of numerous meat products in northern Europe. These problems led to the creation of a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which set food safety regulations designed to harmonize existing national requirements and establish innovative standards.
Countries that seek EU membership must harmonize their food safety regulations with the requirements of the EU. The lack of financial resources and trained food safety specialists remain main obstacles to the modernizing of food safety systems in Central and Eastern European countries.
Consumer organizations in the European Region
Consumer organizations in the European Region are involved in many types of food safety projects, such as food testing, developing consumer education materials, participating in the development of food legislation, and maintaining a comprehensive online resource for consumers. In addition to food hazards, groups in the European Region focus on the use of food additives, growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and GE organisms. Consumer groups play an increasingly crucial role in the process of policymaking on a national and regional level.
Improvements in consumer participation are sought through increased transparency of decision making, providing a framework for discussions between scientific experts and consumers, and ensuring accurate and honest information for consumers in the marketplace.
For the most recent news and alerts from the European Region, visit the Safe Food International Regional News website. Read about the following topics from the region:
- Europe Food/Waterborne Illness Outbreaks
- Europe Food Safety Studies
- Europe Food Safety Policy Issues
- Animal/Plant Health Issues
For more information about the Europe & Central Asia Region, see the SFI publication Global & Local.