Wednesday, 13 April 2016

52nd Sitting of the Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee

At the sitting held on 13 April, the members of the Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee reviewed the state of play concerning food safety, especially concerning the milk and dairy products distributed for consumption by the public, institutions, hospitals etc. (Novi Sad case).

Committee Chairman Marijan Risticevic briefed the Committee members that, according to information obtained from an inspector, a private dairy company had been supplied milk to the Vojvodina Clinical Centre without proper authorisation. The inspection conducted on 1 April ascertained that the dairy company only had a temporary certification which had lapsed in February, but it continued to supply said clinical centre with milk, said Risticevic. He added that there is no information whether the milk had been analysed, especially tested for aflatoxin, and it is unknown whether the New Belgrade Dairy Institute, with which said dairy company has a contract, can sign contracts with private dairy companies and conduct inspections. Other foodstuffs were also found in the dairy, originating from another producer, added Risticevic.

In the ensuing debate, the Committee members and representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection and the Veterinary Directorate stressed there the case is political, cast doubts onto the quality of the inspection, expressed worry that there is no quality control for the milk delivered to the Vojvodina Clinical Centre, criticised the work of the Veterinary Directorate and cast doubts to the quality of the food consumed by the patients of the clinical centre. The Committee said that it will focus efforts on food safety and quality control and make sure that violations have an epilogue in court.

At the end of the sitting the Committee members adopted a Conclusion.

The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairman Marijan Risticevic and attended by Committee members and deputy members Velimir Stanojevic, Miroslav Marinkovic, Miroljub Stankovic, Milan Kovacevic, Zoran Antic, Milija Miletic, Sabina Dazdarevic and Vladan Milosevic.

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