Today, the Commission has published its report (Staff Working Document) on the fitness check of the General Food Law. This evaluation, launched in 2014, assesses whether the GFL Regulation, including its principles as applied in subsequent legislation, is still 'fit for purpose', taking also current trends and needs, and whether there is potential for simplification and the reduction of regulatory costs and burdens.
Overall, GFL has achieved its core objectives, notably a high protection of human health and consumers' interests, as well as a smooth functioning of the internal market. The document also puts forward some challenges, including differences in the implementation and enforcement of certain requirements at national level, or the need for more transparency as regards risk assessment, in particular in the context of authorisations.
At the second Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) seminar on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures and Food Safety, experts concluded that they will continue to work on food safety using the ''One Health'' approach that recognises that human and animal health are linked to each other and the environment. They also stressed the importance of the confidence building and that health issues should be addressed collaboratively, across sectors, disciplines and borders.
The 2016 annual report on the work of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) has been published. The 2016 report introduces Sankey charts and country fact sheets, giving a deeper insight in the data on the activity of RASFF in 2016.
Activity in RASFF in 2016 was at a higher level than ever before. Compared to 2015, the number of alerts rose by 9% to 847 and alert follow-ups by 16% to 4666; while the total number of exchanges through RASFF was well above 10 000.
Today in Madrid, the European Commission will organise the first of a series of 15 workshops under the Better Training for Safer Food (BTSF) programme on the prevention and control of AMR in the context of an overall One Health approach. The three-day practical training sessions target officials from the public health, veterinary and food producing sectors in all 28 EU countries.
The workshops will be organised between now and March 2019 in a number of European capitals, namely Madrid, Copenhagen, Prague, Zagreb, Stockholm and Sofia. The next workshop takes place in Prague between 11 and 14 December 2017.
I am a big fan of a Mediterranean style diet, rich in fruit and vegetables that is good for heart health. Unfortunately the numbers seem to suggest that not so many of us adopt this kind of regime. Indeed, only one in seven people over the age of 15 in the EU eats the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day according to 2016 figures. Furthermore, in 17 EU countries more that 50% of adults are overweight or obese, which we know is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease s (CVDs).