The EU Official Controls legislation sets out how food law enforcement should be carried out, including the responsibilities of Member States and the European Commission. In May 2013 the European Commission published proposals to revise these controls, with the aim of modernising and sharpening enforcement tools and simplifying the legislative framework so that it is easier to use and more efficient. It also aimed to ensure the availability of stable and appropriate resources, ensure equity and fairness in the financing of official controls and improve transparency.
This Which? briefing paper highlighted a range of areas where the Controls could be strengthened, including: ensuring the independence of inspection;the importance of a risk-based approach; the need for unannounced inspections; stronger powers for authorities to require companies to carry out testing; registration of food supply chain intermediaries such as brokers; improving co-ordination between EU Member States; ensuring stronger sanctions; and enhancing the transparency of levels of business compliance for consumers.
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