|Author (Person)||Frost, Laurence|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.6, 8.2.01, p6|
FOOD hygiene proposals introduced in the wake of the BSE crisis could penalise developing countries and lead to a trade war, industry has warned.
Manufacturers say the move to apply new standards of traceability and documentation to both imported and Union-produced foods will fall foul of international trade rules.
"We shouldn't use our internal regulations to block free movement of goods," said David Zimmer of the confectioners' lobby CAOBISCO. "There will be some voices who want to see this approach, as a means of slowing down imports."
Speaking at the European Parliament's public hearing on food hygiene measures, unveiled last year by health and consumer protection chief David Byrne, Zimmer said the extra paperwork needed for imports of raw materials like cocoa would be too burdensome for suppliers, which are often small holdings in developing countries.
"We're being watched very closely on the world stage," he said. "A trade war would be a disaster for everybody."
Unlike the directives they replace, Byrne's new regulations will go straight into national law with no room for interpretation - prompting fears from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that the new safety rules could impose an impossible burden on them.
SMEs want a partial exemption when MEPs amend the proposals later in the year.
Food hygiene proposals introduced in the wake of the BSE crisis could penalise developing countries and lead to a trade war, industry has warned.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry|