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European Food Safety Authority Inaugurated
The Italian town of Parma is the HQ for scientific risk assessment of the region's food supply
Marcello Peluso (marcello)     Print Article 
Published 2005-06-23 14:40 (KST)   
Parma, a city which cares about food.
©2005 Amoretti
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi officially inaugurated the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma, Italy, on June 21. Working in collaboration with national authorities, the institute will provide independent scientific advice and risk assessment from 500 scientists on existing and emerging risks regarding food.

In January 2000 the European Commission suggested the institution of a European food authority ensuring food safety along the entire supply chain "from the land to the table." Finland and Italy fought to become the first country to host the EFSA, with the latter being awarded the right in December 2003.

Among EU countries, Italy was until now the only country with no major EU-related headquarters.

Parma is a wonderful city for architecture, culture and is a perfect example of a city which cares about food, taking the world famous Parma Ham, the "Prosciutto di Parma," and the famous Parmesan cheese made from the milk of local cows fed on the Po Valley's green pastures ("Parmigiano-Reggiano" which is still produced today as it was seven centuries ago).

During the press conference, Berlusconi made a controversial remark regarding Parma's hosting of the EFSA. "It's better to eat Italian food than reindeers like in Finland," he said.

Not all countries welcome the EFSA. There are fears that the issue of closely monitored food safety could be transformed into a new trade barrier, preventing imports from countries that cannot offer absolute assurance that their products are organic, dioxin-free, or not genetically modified.
©2005 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Marcello Peluso

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