On Tuesday 15 January 2019, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report on EU food safety policy (chemical hazards in our food).
The ECA examined whether the EU food safety model is soundly based and implemented to keep the products we consume in the EU safe from chemical hazards. The auditors assessed whether it is viable and in line with international best practice. They also checked whether the EU requirements regarding chemicals in food, animal feed, live animals and plants are respected for import, and carried out visits to Italy, the Netherlands and Slovenia.
The report is expected to acknowledge that the EU food safety policy protects the citizens and is respected worldwide, but also point to the challenges and inconsistencies in implementation. The auditors are expected to make a number of recommendations for improvement to the European Commission, including on the capacity to implement the system fully and consistently.
EU food safety policy aims to guarantee a high level of protection for human life and health, and to protect EU citizens from three types of hazards in food: physical, biological and chemical. Chemical hazards are substances with the potential to cause adverse health effects that either occur naturally or are added during food production or handling, such as some additives, pesticides and certain metals.
According to the World Health Organization, European citizens enjoy one of the highest levels of assurance in the world on the safety of their food. The EU requires non‐EU countries to comply with EU standards in order to guarantee that food imported to the EU fulfils the same high standards of safety.
The report and press release will be published on the ECA website eca.europa.eu in 23 EU languages on Tuesday 15 January at 00.01 a.m. CET.
The press office will hold a technical briefing for the accredited press in Brussels on Monday 14 January; for details, please contact email@example.com.
The ECA’s special reports set out the results of its audits of EU policies and programmes or management topics related to specific budgetary areas. The ECA selects and designs these audit tasks to be of maximum impact by considering the risks to performance or compliance, the level of income or spending involved, forthcoming developments and political and public interest.