Stricter Rules

More rigorous controls and higher fines are set to be introduced by the EU on food fraud. The move was announced by the European Commission, which presented in recent days a regulatory package on animal and plant health. The lessons learned from the horse meat scandal have been assimilated through proposing obligations for member countries to integrate specific anti-fraud analyses in their long-term plans, as well as punish proven violations with financial sanctions equal to or greater than the earnings obtained through the fraudulent activity. Authorities entrusted with food controls will need adequate resources, and sector operators will have to contribute financially. However, micro-enterprises (up to 10 employees and 2 million in annual turnover) will be exempt from this “tax”. Contributions will be calculated in two ways: proportionally to the costs of the types of controls to be carried out, or according to a forfeit which provides for lower sums for those who respect the rules. For more information visit the rules on the EC website.