Since I came to the European Parliament over ten years ago, food safety and quality standards have been the focus of my work. This has certainly been an influence of my education: I have a doctorate in agricultural engineering, and since a young age have been interested in those issues that are most relevant to citizens, such as the labelling of the products we consume, their composition, what kind of additives they contain, processing standards etc. My main purpose when working has always been to provide a service to European citizens by providing better information about what they eat, which ultimately influences their health and wellbeing.
My main purpose has always been to provide a service to European citizens by providing better information about what they eat, which ultimately influences their health and wellbeing Pilar Ayuso
I have worked on a wide variety of reports and been involved in meetings with all sectors implicated in the food industry, in order to reach agreements that combine quality, security, defend the rights of consumers and the competitiveness of agriculture and the agri-food industry - and I can tell you that it is not easy!
Do you know what you drink?
A good example is the Fruit Juices Directive policy. I participated in the drafting of this regulation and what I intended was to give to consumers much more detailed information about the ingredients of the processed juices that we can find in any supermarket.
From now on, thanks to this policy, it will not be permitted to add sugar to fruit juices, while fruit nectars will be products sweetened with sugar, honey or sweeteners
From now on, thanks to this policy, it will not be permitted to add sugar to fruit juices, while fruit nectars will be products sweetened with sugar, honey or sweeteners. A clear difference is now established between the two types of products. Furthermore, manufacturers will have to specify if it is squeezed or from concentrate juice.
European citizens can trust in high standards of food safety
Drawing on my experience in the development of European food law and as a contact person for the European Food Safety Agency in the European Parliament, I can say that European food quality and safety is extraordinary, so all Europeans can rest assured when grocery shopping. Products that get to the shelves have all passed quality controls, and their composition and ingredients are reflected on their labels so that consumers have all the necessary information to feel secure about what they buy and consume.