The Food Safety Agency that was to be born in Foggia will no longer be done. Health Minister Ferruccio Fazio said a few days ago even though the decision had already been taken in September, as had been written in the Corriere della Sera nine months ago. Someone called the Agency’s project useless, demonstrating a reductive vision of the problem.
To understand what an agency is and how it works, just look at the proposals published in the last month on the websites of the French and English agencies, and compare them with the Italian initiatives. The French presented an opinion on nutrition guidelines and a campaign for healthy eating, a report on honey and babies, and a dossier on the distribution of drinking water.
The British propose a report on the new labels, a document on baby bottles containing bisphenol, a report on foodborne infections, a detailed and updated list of foods at risk for allergic people and an opinion on the dangers of trans fatty acids, as well as a national plan for salt reduction. In England the site always shows the complete and detailed list of food products withdrawn from the market with photos and lot numbers.
These things in Italy are done little, badly and there is no one who coordinates them and communicates them to the people, for this we need an agency. To reduce costs, it would be enough to concentrate in a single building the people who deal with these issues at the National Institute for Food Safety and Nutrition, to have them work with experts from the Higher Institute of Health, the Ministry of Health and Arpa and connect with zooprophylactic institutes. Here’s what a food safety agency that the ministry has classified as worthless should do.