Policy Areas

Food Safety

The EU has established a significant body of legislation relating to all stages of the food chain, which has been implemented by Norway and the other EFTA EEA States.

Food safety has become one of the main priorities of the European Union in recent years. The EU approach to food safety aims to ensure a high level of plant health, animal health, animal welfare and food safety within the European Union through coherent farm and fjord to table measures and adequate monitoring. Public health is of overriding concern. The effective functioning of the internal market, to which Norway is a partner through the EEA Agreement, is another important objective.

The implementation of the farm and fjord to table approach involves the development of both legislative and other measures. A significant body of legislation has been established over the years, with large parts revised and updated in recent years. This legislation has, with some minor exceptions and adaptations, been implemented by Norway and the other EFTA EEA States.

Norway participates
Norwegian experts take part in the work of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH), as well as in a large number of working and expert groups, which assist the relevant Commission services in preparing new legislation. The working groups prepare legislation covering all stages of the food chain. Adopted legislation is implemented into the EEA Agreement on a continuous basis.
Norway does also participate in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) and in food related research financed by the 6th and 7th framework programme for research. Norway also contributes to food safety in the EEA area by checks at its outer border through Border Inspection Posts (BIP).

The responsibility for legislation that covers the food chain is DG Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO). The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which was established in 2002, assists the Commission in matters relating to food safety. The responsibility for different aspects related to food safety, control, guidance and coastal affairs in Norway lies with the Ministry of Health and Care Services, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Fisheries. The responsibility for the control of the whole food chain was in 2004 merged into one national food safety authority.

Implementation
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (www.mattilsynet.no) has the main responsibility for the implementation of legislation in the fields of food and feed control, additives, pesticides, contaminants, packaging materials, dietetic foods, new foods, nutrition, fortification, radiation and labeling. A Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety has also recently been established to assist the Food Safety Authority with risk assessment tasks.  

For further information, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

(Sept. 2007)

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