Isn’t it just. I suppose now that it is actually December it’s allowed, but it does seem to have snuck up a bit – where did November go?! Anyway, here’s a little bit of Christmas cheer from the London rep: showcasing the best in young film talent from around the EU, an interactive advent calendar.
I was just in Brussels for a few days with a group of journalism students who were interested in finding out about how the EU works. It was great to be back and to see friends and colleagues, but there was no regret about the decision to come and work here at the Rep – any regret I did feel was for not being able to see my great friends more often. The students seemed to get a lot out of it, and they got access to some really good people while there, as well as having a day on the streets of Brussels talking to people about the role of the EU in that city.
The run-up to the end of the year is getting pretty packed, with Christmas events, of course, but also getting things finalised here budget-wise, several top-level visits and trying to organise things for a smooth start to 2009.
The Commission will take measures to ban the import from China of food for infants and young children containing soya and soya products, after high levels of melamine were recently found in Chinese soy bean meal. Competent authorities in the Member States will have to test all other feed and food containing soya and soya products originating from China before allowing imports. Only feed and food containing less than 2.5 milligrams of melamine per kilo (mg/kg) will be allowed into the EU.
The Commission was recently informed by the Member States through the Rapid Alert System for Feed and Food (RASFF) that high levels of melamine have been found in soy bean meal imported from China.
In 2007, the EU imported about 68 000 tonnes of various soya products or products containing soya for a total value of about 34 million euros. The list includes products such as soya beans, soya bean flour and meal, soya sauce and protein concentrates and textured protein substances.
The Commission initially adopted safeguard measures regarding melamine-contaminated products from China at the end of September. In particular, and in addition to the already existing ban on the import of Chinese milk and milk products into the EU, the Commission imposed an explicit total ban on all products for infants and young children containing any percentage of milk (infant formula, follow-on formula and other products). Furthermore, all composite products containing milk and milk products from China have to be tested for melamine before these can be placed on the EU market.