The Roundtable featured members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism who presented an overview of their priorities, including: the negotiations of the second stage of the EU-U.S. Aviation Agreement; the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme; air traffic management; the EU-U.S. agreement on aviation safety; and aviation and maritime security, including container scanning.  Members of the Committee’s delegation included: The Honorable Paolo Costa, Chairman of the Committee, The Honorable Georg Jarzembowski, and The Honorable Saïd El KhadraouiThe Honorable Jonathan Evans, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Delegation to the United States was also present and underlined the importance of continued EU-U.S. cooperation on transport issues.  The United States perspective was represented by Lynne Pickard, Deputy Director of the Office of Environment and Energy at the Federal Aviation Administration, who outlined the U.S. policy regarding aviation emissions, and Michael Scardaville, Acting Director of European and Multilateral Affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, who addressed U.S. aviation security issues, in particular, the 100% container scanning initiative.

Now that the United States has begun to experience the kinds of food scares that rocked Europe several years ago, more American consumers are starting to worry about the efficacy of the food-safety system that is supposed to protect them. Some people fear negligent or criminal adulteration of imported food products such as pet food from China; others worry about problems at home, citing the example of an American company that recently had to recall batches of its brand of peanut butter after they were tied to salmonella outbreaks that sickened more than 400 people in 44 U.S. states. Fears and doubts are even growing among some regulators.

In these circumstances, could Europe’s food-safety solutions offer some useful approaches for the United States?


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The Hon. László Kovács, Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, and Robert Verrue, Director General for Taxation and Customs Union at the European Commission, reviewed current initiatives in supply chain security, the effects on international trade and the prospects for transatlantic cooperation. The bill proposed by the U.S. Congress requiring the scanning of 100% of containers entering U.S. ports became the focus of the discussion. Referring to the technical difficulty of this task, its negative impact on commerce, as well as on transatlantic relations, participants concurred that 100% scanning was neither practical nor cost-efficient given the available technology and the volume of shipments to the U.S. Commissioner Kovacs concluded that mutual recognition and bilateral cooperation is needed in addressing these critical security issues. The involvement of the private sector was also a key to developing a sound container security agreement. Participants included Mandy Bowers, Professional Staff Member, Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives; and Peter Verga, Principal Deputy, Homeland Defense, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense, who offered the U.S. perspective. Evelyn Suarez, a partner at the law firm of Williams Mullen moderated the meeting.

Isabelle BénolielSince 2002, there has been strong recognition worldwide of the existence of a genuine terrorist threat to the global food supply. However, this is not a new threat. There have been a number of deliberate attacks on food around the world over the years.

For example, in 1984, there was an attack on candies in Japan and another on salad bars in Oregon in the United States. In 2002, Chinese supplies of breakfast food were also targeted. Since 9/11, some evidence has been discovered in the Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan which indicates that they have studied the idea of using specific agents to contaminate food supplies.


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