Have you ever wondered why certain products are launched on the market and then, after a while, we don't see them anymore? Sometimes they are products that companies thought would be well received by consumers and, instead, they fail to success, sales are not enough and in the end it is no longer convenient to produce them. In other cases, however, it means that something has gone wrong, some pollutant has contaminated the production chain and the consumption of that specific product becomes dangerous for the environment and for our organism.
It does not seem to be like that because we never talk enough about it, but the products withdrawn from the market are many, and we do not even realize it, they are products that disappear from the market from one day to another. It never occurs to us to ask why, why a product was forced to leave the market and those few lines of the ads at the supermarket checkout are not enough.
Often, the lack of controls causes the withdrawal of a product from the market; it takes little to contaminate all the food and make it toxic and very dangerous. Sometimes also the carelessness and the wear and tear of machineries, as well as unsuitable and dirty environments, allow contaminating agents, viruses, bacteria and even polluting agents to infiltrate our food.
Yes, environmental pollution ends up on our plates: we bring home micro-powders, plastics, every kind of pollutant and very often we do not even realize it. It is enough to think of food packed in plastic that becomes a receptacle of pollutants because plastics can stick to food and transmit potentially dangerous substances.
All pollutants come into contact with our food, cause damage to our bodies and nature and the only thing we can do to defend ourselves is to make our planet healthier, more attentive to the rhythms of nature, we must be more aware of what we eat and how it is produced. When we go to the supermarket, we must give more importance to the quality of what we eat; let's try to think if we are more pleased with a cheap food but full of pollutants or a food that costs more but is healthier. Pollutants do not look at the price, they subtly infiltrate everything we eat, but quality at least guarantees the respect of certain safety standards that are fundamental.
The last case of pollutant entered in our food is that of ethylene oxide, also known as oxirane. It is a dangerous compound for human beings, if inhaled.
It was recorded a "threat of tampering with our products at retail outlets, explains the company in a note, the well-known brand of jams has immediately filed a complaint to the competent authorities, having as priority the maximum protection of consumers. The same threat of tampering was sent to the distribution chain Dao group. Therefore, we have asked to carry out, as a precautionary measure, the temporary withdrawal of our products from all points of sale of the chain". But how did that specific pollutant get into the production chain that should be safe? Perhaps our planet is telling us that there are too many pollutants, that it is time to think about a healthier lifestyle, that we can no longer continue like this.
In this field, the European legislator intervened with an important measure: the regulation 178/2002, which besides providing a series of procedures for food safety, established the European Food Safety Authority(EFSA) based in Parma. EFSA has the task of identifying FBOs (Food Business Operators), that is those legal entities which have the power to proceed with the recall of products which are considered risky. The criteria to establish when a product is dangerous for the health of citizens are always established in the regulation, as well as the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) in art. 50. The latter establishes for the FBO to inform its customers of the non-conformity found and to withdraw the product from the market.
It will then be up to the health authorities to establish the product's non-conformity and, in case of a positive outcome, the FBO will proceed to withdraw it from the market. In addition to this, in case the product has already been sold to the consumer, FBO must also recall it, that is to inform consumers about risky products, often by hanging information posters in supermarkets or other points of sale.
The only way to avoid ending up with potentially dangerous substances is to change our lifestyle, to embrace a healthier and more genuine lifestyle that is good for both the environment and our health.
Translated by Giada Franchi
Trasparenza | EFSA (europa.eu)