General Food Law

During the production, processing and putting onto the market of agricultural products and foodstuffs, materials that could damage the health of the consumer are being used. The European Commission has laid down detailed rules in this area, which are still being adapted conform further developments in science and technology.

The harvest and quality of vegetable products are permanently threatened by damaging organisms and weeds. Production can be protected with phytopharmaceutical products (herbicides, pesticides, plant protectors, viruses and micro-organisms for integrated control). By using these products the health of humans and the environment are put at risk, because most of them contain toxic elements. In most of the EC Member States rules are applied for the application and official approval of this type of products.

The quality of foodstuffs of animal origin is strongly dependent of the feedingstuffs. It is therefore possible that the quality and the organoleptic characters of the animal products are determined by the nature of the feed ingredients. Thus, the Community has set up detailed rules in the field of feed in an early stage. These rules concern additives, unwanted materials and products, single feed, compound feed, bio-proteins and methods of control.

Part of the provisions concerning feed and feed materials is covered by the General Food Law. More specific provisions can be found in the Directory Feed (only available in Dutch).

Also, there are many rules for animal products regarding the health of humans and animals, such as the protection against animal diseases and the unwanted use of hormones. An overview of the veterinary rules for animal products can be found in the Directory Animal products (only available in Dutch).

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