European integration

Agriculture Ministry proposes creating all-embracing food watchdog

The Ministry on Agriculture and Food Ministry is proposing the creation of a unitary and all-embracing agency to oversee food standards along the entire chain, from production to processing to retailing. The issue was discussed at a meeting of the Governmental Commission for European Integration.
Info-Prim Neo, 28 June 2011, 11:09

The measure is included in the Food Safety Strategy which, in its turn, is part of a broader Action Plan on the implementation of EC recommendations for the creation of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with Moldova.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Viorel Gutu said the Strategy is based on the principles of food safety adopted in EU countries and envisages a unitary approach to the entire food chain, for all groups of foods. The objectives of these unitary approach are to protect the health of animals and plants, guarantee safe foods for the population, increase effectiveness of controls of animal and non-animal source foods, improve professional skills etc. Currently the Strategy is being examined for expertise by other ministries and agencies.

The Strategy was developed following a desk analysis of existing regulations carried out together with European experts. It has been found that that the national food safety legislation is fragmentary, there are a multitude of agencies involved in food control and which are subordinated to different ministries, which amounts to a very poor coordination of activities in the area.

The restructuring of the existing agencies to create a unitary body which is subordinated to the Ministry on Agriculture and Food Ministry will not require any additional expenses, said Viorel Gutu. But the efforts to consolidate the control competence of the new agency and to adopt EU standards will necessitate 40 to 45 million euros by 2015, he added.

Food companies will also be encouraged to invest in upgrading safety standards to be able to export to EU markets. It is estimated that annual investments of 10 million euros are needed in the industry.

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