§ Mr. Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when proposals to establish a European Food Authority were published and by whom; what steps Her Majesty's Government have taken to publicise this decision; when it agreed to it; what consultations it has had; and on what Treaty base the Authority is expected to be established.
§ Ms Stuart
The European Commission introduced a proposal, dated 8 November 2000, for a "Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing a European Food Authority (EFA), and laying down procedures in matters of food safety (COM (2000) 716 final)."
In December 2000 the Food Standards Agency began a formal consultation on the EC's proposal. This consultation is open and ongoing and details may be found on the FSA's website www.foodstandards.gov.uk. The FSA has held meetings with stakeholders and sends out letters reporting on negotiations in Brussels.169W
The establishment of the EFA is not yet agreed. Negotiations on the EC's proposal are continuing in Brussels.
As drafted, the EC's proposal gives the Treaty base for the establishment of the EFA as Articles 37 (Common Agricultural Policy), 95 (internal market), 133 (common commercial policy) and 152(4)(b) (public health).