Budget Cuts could Compromise Food Safety in Europe

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), noting the reductions intended for 2007-13, has expressed deep concern over future of European Union financing for food safety after original projections were slashed in December.

In the wake of a series of scares last year involving the discovery of unauthorized dyes, such as Sudan 1, in food products, the EFSA emphasized that the EU needs food safety resources more than ever.

"With these cuts, in the event of a food pandemic, we believe we would do what was requested of us," said a spokeswoman. "But it would mean skipping other work; we would have to prioritize and, consequently, food safety would suffer. These cuts definitely jeopardize our scientific work."

EFSA Chairman Stuart Slorach said he plans mount a campaign in the EU institutions, seeking support for reinstating the funds.

A member of European parliament's committee for food safety, Liam Aylward MEP, said that he was very unhappy about the cuts.

"I expect standards for the EU. Without a doubt, I fully support EFSA's campaign to have its budget reinstated," said Aylward.


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