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FVS says it is too soon to conclude quality of EU products differs from country to country

It is too soon to claim that the quality of products sold in the European Union differs from country to country, said Director of Latvia’s Food and Veterinary Service (FVS) Ernests Zavadskis on the topic of dual quality of European goods.

He said that until now laboratory tests performed by FVS provided no proof to suggest products sold in Latvia are of poorer quality than their counterparts in Western Europe. Zavadskis emphasized that tests did not find any major differences in composition and packaging of products. ‘This is why we cannot say that consumers are subjected to discrimination,’ said the director of FVS.

He said that ensuring a unified level of quality for products sold in EU member states is a matter on the agenda of the European Commission, because it is important to develop unified quality criteria and guidelines for EU member states, as well as establish measures for situations when non-compliance with EU quality criteria is registered.

Zavadskis emphasized that modern production drastically differs from the Soviet Era, when the state was the one dictating recipes for different products. Producers do not have a unified standard to follow. Because of that, it is unclear how product quality should be evaluated.

According to FVS Food Monitoring Department Director, funding is provided on an EU level. Work is also being performed on development of product quality guidelines and laboratory control. «We would get more realistic data to study once EC’s programme is realized and all member states start working from a single framework,» said Zavadskis.

A similar opinion was mentioned by Agriculture Ministry’s Veterinary and Food Department deputy director Dace Ugare, who said that it is important to wait for European Commission’s unified methodology to make it possible to discuss possible differences with products of the same brand but in different European countries. «We should wait when all countries do it together, but we cannot allow a situation when each individual country performs analysis based on their own criteria,» Ugare explained.

MEP Inese Vaidere emphasized that differences among products offered in the EU exist. She adds that those differences should not exist. This is why it is highly important to develop unified EU product quality guidelines.


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