Hudghton (Greens/EFA), Draftsman of the opinion intended for human consumption - Mr President, I wish to thank the general rapporteur and the lead committee for their work on this important proposal. It is essential for the sake of consumers and, indeed, producers and suppliers that we have a sensible regime for the protection of public health. In relation to fisheries and aquaculture products, there are some very particular challenges. It may not always be appropriate simply to transpose controls which are designed for farmed animals to fishing and aquaculture products. For example, some of the issues and challenges relating to fish diseases, dioxin levels and so forth are very specific and require regularly updated and verifiable scientific advice on which to base controls and toxin levels. Bivalve molluscs by their nature pose particular challenges and perhaps the testing regime for scallops, for example, ought not to be identical to that for mussels or other species. We have to look to species-specific controls in relation to bivalve molluscs. The current proposal in relation to toxin levels was based on studies carried out in Canada and Japan on mussels, and the effects on the scallop industry of the type of controls which have been envisaged could be very significant. We need to look very carefully at ensuring - for the sake of consumers but also those who depend on these industries for their livelihood - that risk-based measures are imposed which are reasonable in relation to the problems involved.

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