Forum. At the beginning of the month of December 2017, the revelation of the placing on the market of infant formula contaminated with salmonella by the company Lactalis has highlighted shortcomings in the device for securing the health of the food chain. Proposals to improve the functioning of the competent authorities, or even to put in place a single authority and control, have been formulated in an information report from the Senate (no. 403 dated 5 April 2018), as well as by the commission of inquiry set up by the national Assembly (n° 1179 of the 19 July 2018).
These proposals meet the provisions laid down in the european regulation of 15 march 2017, which sets the framework for official controls throughout the food chain, and in which the application is scheduled for December 14, 2019.
Article 1 of that regulation states that the official controls must take into account a comprehensive approach to risk, involving them in the issues of security and safety to those who seek to ensure, by fair practices in food trade, protection and information of consumers.
In fact, for reasons related to the globalisation of exchanges, the increasing complexity of trading channels and increasing pressure on prices, these two issues have become closely related. A health issue can reveal the existence of a fraud (this was the case of eggs contaminated with fipronil in the summer of 2017), in the same way that a fraud may raise questions about the safety of the food chain (as in the case of the scandal of horse meat in 2013).
Dilution of responsibilities
Thus, the creation of a single authority control immediately raises the question of its scope : wishes to be limited in its scope to the issues of food safety or to extend the scope to the fight against fraudulent or deceptive practices ? In reality,…