HC Deb 27 March 2003 vol 402 c395W
Mr. Gummer

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on which foodstuffs of non-animal origin should be tested on(a) all occasions and (b) a 'spot-check' basis under the proposals in the EU document of 10 February (EC Draft 6090/03). [102848]

Ms Blears

The Food Standards Agency has lead responsibility for this proposal on official feed and food controls. I am advised by the FSA that the negotiations on it are due to begin shortly. The FSA will press for provisions that ensure the frequency of testing of foods of non-animal origin is risk-based and proportionate. In effect, this would mean spot checks and random analytical testing for 'low risk' products but increased checks and analytical testing, up to a level of 100 per cent. (depending on the nature of the risk), for foods included in the list of 'high risk' products that is envisaged under the proposal. The commodities included in this list and the required level of testing will not be static over time but rather will vary depending on identification of new risks and the control of others. Currently, the European Commission publish decisions regarding those commodities front specified countries that should be subject to 100 per cent. documentary and analytical checks. This includes aflatoxins in various nuts and dried fruits from certain countries. It is understood that such products would be included in the `high risk' list under the proposal and would require 100 per cent. testing.