Natura 2000 is the centerpiece of the European Union nature & biodiversity policy. Is the largest network of protected areas in the world. The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.
In a global economy, where people consume products from all over the world, the rapid alert system for food and feed (RASFF) is a very efficient tool to ensure food safety to millions of citizens of the 30 Member States involved in the system.
This system, unique in the world, establishes a network consisting of the Member States (EU + Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), the European Food Safety Authority, and the European Commission which is responsible for the management of the system.
The RASFF is primarily a tool for exchange of information between competent authorities in cases where a risk to human health arising from a food or feed has been identified and measures have been taken, such as withholding, recalling, seizure or rejection of the products concerned. This quick exchange of information allows all Member States to verify immediately whether they are also affected by the problem. Whenever the product is already on the market and should not be consumed, the Member States authorities are then in a position to take all urgent measures, including direct information to the public if necessary.
This process is illustrated by the case of melamine, found in various products originating from China and affecting the entire world. With the example of melamine, the video explains how RASFF has helped to keep the consequences of the contamination incident to a minimum and also how a crisis such as the melamine crisis could benefit from a global alert system, built to the model of RASFF, a goal that the European Commission helps achieving.