• 8 June 2016 - Marian Harkin – [E-004726-16] - Subject: Imports of chlorinated chicken under the TTIP agreement:
In response to Written Question P-002677/2016 [http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=WQ&reference=P-2016-002677&language=EN] regarding imports of chlorinated chicken under the TTIP agreement, EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis did not categorically rule out the importation of the product under a TTIP agreement, but rather stated that ‘no antimicrobial treatments will be approved in the EU unless there is a clear scientific assessment confirming that they are beneficial for consumers (i.e. reduction of microbial contamination and reduction of safety risks)’. In this context, is the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) currently assessing the safety of chlorinated chicken or any other antimicrobial treatment of meat or carcases so as to evaluate whether or not they enhance the hygiene requirements that EU legislation requires to be applied throughout the food-chain process?
Or are there any plans to request that EFSA carry out such an assessment?
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission (27 July 2016):
«The Commission is committed to uphold high standards and levels of health, safety, and environmental protection in the EU. The negotiation for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is not going to change that. The Commission has repeatedly underlined that the overall objective in TTIP is to cut unnecessary red tape, reduce the costs of doing business across the Atlantic and make it easier for companies to comply with both American and European laws, while maintaining the appropriate levels of protection set by each side.
Where a request is made to the Commission to authorise a product for the antimicrobial treatment of meat or carcases, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) may be requested to carry out a risk assessment as part of the risk analysis of the product. There are currently no such applications, nor risk assessments in progress. However, if such an application were to be made in the future, EFSA may be requested to carry out an assessment.».