Food and feed safety vulnerabilities in the circular economy, 2022

Reports, scientific publications | 2023-06-01 | Nunzia Cito

In March 2020, the European Commission adopted the new Circular Economy (CE) action plan. The aim of the European Union’s (EU) transition to a CE is to reduce pressure on natural resources and create sustainable growth and jobs. It is also fundamental to achieving the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality target, halting biodiversity loss, and is a prerequisite to the EU’s is commitment to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3 to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030, and reduce food losses along the food production and supply chains. The Commission will propose legally binding targets for food waste reduction by 2023, as called for by the Farm to Fork Strategy. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is undertaking a 2-year project on “Food and feed safety vulnerabilities in the circular economy” (2021-2022). As part of this project, EFSA requested an extensive literature review to gather and evaluate the evidence for vulnerabilities in the CE approach for food and feed safety, plant, animal and human health and the environment. Three specific objectives were requested: Objective 1: To identify and categorise current and envisaged CE practices within all stages of the food and feed production chain in Europe. Objective 2: to identify emerging risks for plant, animal and human health and the environment related to CE, resulting from new hazards and new exposure pathways leading to increased exposure, by conducting an extensive literature search of the scientific literature and monitoring ongoing research projects. Objective 3: to characterise the identified emerging risks by providing the available information justifying the definition of emerging risk, relevant for EFSA’s prioritisation and risk assessment activities. Specific objectives for each of the three main objectives were agreed with EFSA at each stage of the project. (Source: document “Summary – Background”)

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