Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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CPHVA comments on proposed Council/EP regulation laying down the general principles of Food Law, establishing The European Food Authority,
and laying down procedures in matters of food safety

The Community Practitionersí and Health Visitorsí Association is a professional organisation and trade union which represents 18,000 health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as an autonomous section of the MSF trade union.

The CPHVA welcomes a move towards a Europe-wide authority that will ensure a high level of consumer protection that will apply to all member countries. The establishment of an open and transparent authority whose purpose will ensure quality advice regarding food safety, the operation of a rapid alert system and has a role to inform the public on matters within its remit.

The CPHVA supports a Draft Regulatory Impact Assessment.

The CPHVA would expect that, in implementing these changes, due consideration is given to disadvantaged countries and small businesses to ensure that they are treated fairly and equitably. Careful consideration should be made of the time periods set for the improvement of standards and of the cost to small businesses, as this may have a significant impact on them which means they cease trading. Consumers could face escalating costs as a consequence.

With regard to the impact assessment concerning infant food, the CPHVA would wish to see more specific regulation with regard to food content and labelling, for example, baby foods containing meat should state the percentage of muscle tissue to other tissue.

Lead Professional Officer - Health Visiting
January 2001