Digital tachograph: guardians of the key

On 21st May 2008 the European Root Certification Authority (ERCA) celebrated the performance of the 50th key certification session provided to Member States and other associated countries in the context of the European legislation on the digital tachograph system.

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EFSA publishes EU-wide survey on Salmonella levels in slaughtered pigs

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a survey on Salmonella levels detected in slaughtered pigs across the European Union in 2006-2007.  Salmonella was estimated on average to be present in one in ten pigs slaughtered for human consumption (10.3%), according to an EU-wide report from an EFSA Task Force.

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Printing – the ‘forgotten’ security link

ENISA, the EU Agency for European Network and Information Security, launches its report on “Secure Printing’ with recommendations to business on secure printing and copying of confidential data. Printing/copying devices can be penetrated and hijacked for fraud so that sensitive data or identity is easily stolen. But 350 surveyed European organisations have little awareness of the costs and risks of uncontrolled printing, the Agency report shows.

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EC proposes clearer and more risk-proportionate rules for animal by-products

The European Commission adopted today a proposal that will facilitate the efficient management of animal by-products, while preserving at the same time the current high levels of protection against risks to public and animal health and the environment. Thousands of slaughterhouses, farms and dairy plants across the EU produce more than 15 million tonnes of animal by-products every year.

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High food safety standards but flexibility for micro-enterprises

The European Parliament wants to guarantee the highest possible food hygiene safety while giving flexibility to exempt especially micro-enterprises from certain obligations under the food hygiene regulation concerning the HACCP - system (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point), a system to ensure and to control the EU food hygiene rules.

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Report "Evaluating business safety measures in the toy supply chain"

On the 5th June 2008 in Brussels, European Consumer Affairs Commissioner Meglena Kuneva presented a report by independent experts entitled "Evaluating Business Safety Measures in the Toy Supply Chain." The Report was carried out at the initiative of the European Commission, as a follow up to the Commission's product safety Stocktaking review in Autumn 2007. The stocktaking was undertaken after a series of high profile recalls to review the strengths and weaknesses of the existing mechanisms to ensure product safety in Europe.

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Commission launches public consultation on revision of car labelling directive

The European Commission today launched a public consultation on information provided to consumers about the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars. Stakeholders and the general public are invited to submit their views on how such information can be made clearer and more consistent. Studies have shown that the CO2 labelling directive in force is not working as well as it could and needs to be amended.

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World No Tobacco Day

Less than three years after its entry into force the EU advertising ban has proven its effectiveness. This is the conclusion of the Commission report on the performance of the Tobacco Advertising Directive. Directive. On the 30th May 2008, all Member States have transposed the Directive and tobacco brand advertising in the press aimed at the general public has virtually disappeared. Direct tobacco sponsorship of cross-border sports and other events within the EU has also ceased. The key challenge in the tobacco advertising ban has shifted to the internet which is difficult to control. The Commission is working with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to strengthen advertising bans at global level, to ensure that the EU ban is not undermined from the outside.

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Fight obesity earlier in life, says Environment Committee

Europe has almost 22 million overweight children, and a further 1.3 million will be overweight or obese by 2010, says the Environment Committee in a report, adopted on Tuesday, that calls for an earlier start to measures to prevent obesity. Remedies include clearer food labelling, better food in schools and kindergartens, restrictions on advertising unhealthy food to children, and VAT reductions for fruit and vegetables.

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New EU study lifts lid on financial exclusion

Millions of Europeans face an increased risk of social exclusion through lack of access to basic financial services, according to a new study presented by the European Commission on the 28th May 2008. The results of the study will be discussed at a high level conference in Brussels on the 28th. The conference will bring together over 400 participants from all over Europe and the world from the financial sector, consumer groups, public authorities and NGOs to propose a series of potential policy responses. The initiative follows the Single Market Review of November 2007, where the Commission announced its intention to ensure that, by a certain date, nobody is denied access to a basic bank account.

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EC outlines European response to mitigate effects of rising global food prices

The European Commission has adopted a Communication setting out potential policy responses to mitigate the effects of rising global food prices. The document will be discussed at the European Council on 19-20 June 2008.

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