May 8, 2001 — BRUSSELS — Although the European Food Authority may not be operational as soon as originally planned, officials this week met to discuss the creation of a advisory forum for the proposed body.
European Commission for Health and Consumer Protection David Byrne met with representatives of European food safety agencies to discuss what agencies or groups will be represented on the forum, which will play a key role in in the food authority, according to the AFX European Focus news service.
The European Food Authority would work to ensure food safety in Europe but would not have any rule-making powers. The goal of the organization is to streamline the existing rules applied by EU nations to ensure safe foods and to regain public confidence in the European food industry. Authority members will have access to high-level scientific information and be able to reach agreements on any safety issues that may arise.
Byrne reportedly wants to see the advisory forum up and running as soon as possible.
“It is high time we start pooling scientific and technical resources and set up an integrated scientific network between European and national authorities,” Byne was quoted as saying.
Officials recently said the authority will not be ready by 2002, as originally planned. One of the biggest issues blocking the creation of the agency is battle over where it will be located. A decision on where it will be located will likely come in June.