Socialist MEP and deputy chairwoman of the parliamentary committee, Clara Aguilera has demanded that the notification procedure followed by EU countries for the activation of the rapid alert system for food and feed be revised. Along these lines, Aguilera advocated the need for greater harmonization and coordination between the food and health alert systems of the Community countries. A petition, which was raised during the session held on 31st August in the European Parliament and in which the European Commission was accountable to the members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture on the protocols put in place to deal with the crisis of eggs contaminated with fipronil.
During the debate, Socialist MEP and Vice-President of the parliamentary committee, Clara Aguilera, regretted the delay in the activation of the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). However, she pointed out that the problem lies in the delay of States in notifying an alert, “since if the warning does not exist, the RASFF can not be activated”, she explained. “I am particularly concerned that the alert system has not been activated until July, when the first cases of contaminated eggs were detected in the Netherlands in September last year”, she said.
Aguilera demands that States be obliged to give immediate information once an alert is detected
In this regard, Aguilera has criticized the serious lack of coordination that has taken place between the food safety agencies of the Member States and the European Food Safety Authority. “It is not possible for a European farm to detect a problem that is susceptible of alert and that it is not activated or transferred to the public until months later”, she said, and urged the European Commission to give all guarantees that there is no risk to public health.
In the light of reports of the use of a second toxic substance banned in poultry, amitraz, Aguilera has asked the Commission to “provide all the information it has on this insecticide to reassure consumers”
The Socialist MEP concluded by calling for greater harmonization and coordination in food and health alert systems to prevent crises such as the current one from happening again.