New Regulation on official controls on food or food supplements.
New Regulation on official controls on food or food supplements. In April 2017, the new Regulation 2017/625 on controls and other official activities carried out to ensure the application of food and feed legislation, and health and welfare standards of health was published in the Official Journal of the European Union animals, plant health and phytosanitary products. This is a very extensive regulation that aims to rationalize and simplify a general legal framework to legislate official control in specific areas, always taking as maximum protection to the health of consumers.
Until the date of publication of this new Regulation, the only legislative framework on official controls on reference foods that was Regulation 882/2004 of April 29, 2004, on official controls carried out to ensure verification of compliance with legislation in feed and food, and animal health and animal welfare regulations. Although this document was the most extensive and complete, not everything was regulated in it having to go to other legal texts.
Thus, for example, for the regulation on plant health it was necessary to go to Council Directive 2000/29/EC of 8 May 2000, concerning protection measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their propagation within the Community. On the other hand and also, for the determination of the necessary frequency of official controls, another legal document, Directive 96/23/EC relative to the applicable control measures regarding certain substances and their residues in live animals and their animals product. This was the case with more aspects of official food controls, so the unification of information as well as the simplification of procedures related to official controls became very necessary.
In this way, and taking as a reference the provisions of Regulation 882/2004, what is included in the different existing sector regulations so far, and in the experience acquired throughout this time since the first official controls were carried out, this new Regulation that repeals and replaces all of the above. The main purpose of the new Regulation is to establish a harmonized framework in the European Union for the organization of official food controls and official activities other than official controls throughout the agri-food chain.
For this, it is based on the rules on official controls established in Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 and on the applicable sector legislation, as well as the experience of all these years applying those standards. With the 2017/625 Regulation, definitions are re-established, which update, qualify or extend the scope of previous definitions. Thus, official control means:
- the activities carried out by the competent authorities, delegated bodies or persons to whom functions are delegated in order to verify compliance with the Regulation,
- and that animals and goods meet the requirements of standards aimed at preventing, eliminating or reducing to acceptable levels the risks that threaten people or animals directly or through the environment,
- and to ensure fair practices in the feed and food trade and to protect the interests of consumers ultimately.
For other official activities than official control, the new Regulation defines them as those activities
- aimed at checking the presence of animal diseases, plant pests
- to prevent its spread, to its eradication and
- to grant authorizations or approvals and
- to issue official certificates.
In general, Regulation 2017/625 establishes rules that regulate:
- How to carry out official controls and activities
- The financing of these procedures
- Assistance and cooperation between the member states of the European Union
- The performance of official controls by the European Commission
- The conditions of animals and goods that are introduced into the European Union
- The creation of a computerized system that manages the data and information collected in the official controls carried out.
All these rules apply to official controls that are carried out to verify compliance with standards established at EU or Member State level to apply the legislation in the following particular areas:
- Food and Food Safety, its integrity and health at any stage of the food chain, including aspects of fair trade, consumer information and aspects of materials that come into contact with food
- Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) intentionally released to the environment to produce food or feed
- Feed and feed safety at any stage of its production
- Animal health
- The prevention and reduction of risks to human and animal health from animal by-products and derivatives
- Animal welfare
- Protection against plant pests
- Trade and use of phytosanitary products and sustainable use of pesticides
- The production and labeling of organic products
- The use and labeling of protected designations of origin, protected geographical indications and guaranteed traditional specialties
From the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN), a question and answer document was developed on the application of this new Regulation. Although this Regulation entered into force 20 days after its publication in DOUE (4/7/2017), the repeal of Regulations 854/2004 and 882/2004, Directives 89/608/CCE, 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC, 96/23/EC and 97/78/EC and Decision 92/438/EEC has no effect until December 14, 2019.
In addition to food supplements legislation or food labeling legislation, LegaleGo Nutrition, such as health advice and sports nutrition lawyers, helps companies that import, distribute or market food supplements in their official food controls or inspections. For this, it is very important to know all the legislative news about official controls on food or food supplements.