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EU Health Commissioner Comments On Canned Tuna From Thailand European Union, January 7, 13

The European government conducted “a program of stringent checks” on canned tuna from Thailand last February, after it detected some Thai products failed to meet EU health standards, said Tonio Borg, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, in a written statement last week.
Borg said Thai authorities were notified of the problem and its extent as soon as they were discovered, and steps were taken to correct the situation. But, despite the corrective measures, the problem continued and Thai authorities chose to suspend their exports to the EU as of Oct. 12, 2012, said Borg.
The Commissioner’s statement was in response to concerns expressed by parliament member Carmen Fraga, who warned of the seriousness of the case because Thailand is the world’s leading producer of canned tuna and controls a third of the EU market. She stated the failure to provide adequate heat treatment to sterilize the canned tuna “seriously jeopardizes” consumer food safety. Fraga is affiliated with the Spanish political party, Partido Popular, which represents the interests of the Spanish canning industry.
Borg added that stringent checks are put in place once animal food products raise flags at the EU border. The controls are maintained until the government is advised they can be removed.
Borg also said Thai processors were audited in September 2011 and that Thai authorities presented a plan to improve their production conditions as a result. According to Borg, the auditors believed the actions taken by Thai officials were satisfactory. He said a follow-up audit is expected but the date has not yet been set.