Horsemeat scandal shows need for stiffer sanctions, EU says

Brussels plans stiffer sanctions against food fraud following the discovery of mislabelled ready-made meals across Europe containing horsemeat instead of beef, the EU's health commissioner said Thursday.

"The scandal confirms the importance of proper controls and dissuasive sanctions," Health Commissioner Tonio Borg told the 's health and food safety committee.

Borg said that "to reinforce the element of dissuasiveness," an upcoming proposal by the EU executive to review agri-food legislation will include a call on member states to agree financial penalities for intentional violations of food chain rules "at a level which the sought through the violation."

Even in the case of false labelling, the penalty must serve "as an effective deterrent that shows that crime does not pay" and be at least equal to the economic gain made by those involved, he said.

Borg said the Commission also favoured tighter controls along the "in case of risk".

New proposals for stiffer sanctions and tighter controls will be presented in the spring, said Borg's spokesman. But they will have to be agreed by both the parliament and the 27 member states, meaning they are unlikely to be ready before the end of the mandate of the present Commission in May 2014.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU says too early to impose meat labelling

Feb 12, 2013

The European Commission said Tuesday it is too early to require labelling on meat used in processed foods despite growing uproar over horse meat being passed off as beef in frozen hamburgers and lasagne.

EU ministers tackle horsemeat scandal at crisis talks

Feb 13, 2013

EU ministers called in Europe's law enforcement agency Wednesday to help tackle a spreading crisis over mislabelled frozen meals containing horsemeat and promised a crash DNA food testing in an effort to restore consumer ...

EU freezes approval of GM crops to 2014

Jan 22, 2013

The European Commission has decided to freeze the approval process for genetically modified food crops through the end of its mandate next year while it works towards an agreement with EU member states.

EU stops short of insecticide ban

Jan 28, 2013

The European Commission said Monday it would draw up "stringent" measures to protect bees from dangers attributed to certain pesticides, but pulled back from an anticipated ban.

Recommended for you

Pica in pregnant teens linked to low iron

9 hours ago

In a study of 158 pregnant teenagers in Rochester, NY, nearly half engaged in pica – the craving and intentional consumption of ice, cornstarch, vacuum dust, baby powder and soap, and other nonfood items, reports a new ...

User comments