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Advisory Committee

The involvement of interested parties in the development of Community policy and a coherent and flexible framework for consultation have been recognised by the Commission as essential part of an improved regulatory environment. See the (White Paper on Governance and Commission Communication on general principles and minimum standards for consultation of interested parties by the Commission).

In particular, in the fields of human, animal and plant health the issues, which the Community has had to address in recent years have highlighted the need to elicit the viewpoints of the players involved in the food chain.

In order to improve the participation of the players affected by food and feed safety issues, the White Paper on Food Safety adopted by the Commission on 12 January 2000 announced the creation of a new Advisory Committee on the food chain and animal and plant health reorganising and regrouping the existing Advisory Committees.

Furthermore, new legislative requirements have been established for public consultation in Regulation EC/178/2002 requiring that: “There shall be open and transparent public consultation, directly or through representative bodies, during the preparation, evaluation and revision of food law, except where the urgency of the matter does not allow it". Consultation in the field of food law is now a formal legal obligation.

Taking this new approach into consideration, and in order to ensure a systematic implementation of this new legal obligation, DG Health and Consumer Protection is currently working on a legislative proposal. The new Advisory Committee should cover all food law matters including those connected to human nutrition, animal health and welfare matters and all plant health matters except for the ones pertaining to industrial property.

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