Matecna: Double Standards in Quality Exist; Customer Doesn’t Want to Be Fooled

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Slovak Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matecna at the Summit on Equal Quality Products for All in Bratislava (photo taken from Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry's Facebook page)

Bratislava, October 13 (TASR) – Double standards in food quality do exist in the EU and consumers are often being deceived by producers, concurred the participants in the Summit on Equal Quality Products for All, which took place in Bratislava on Friday.

According to Slovak Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matecna (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee), it was also declared at the summit that unified and joint methodology for testing food and products should be created within the EU. “So that there are no doubts about what types of tests have been carried out by individual member countries, the tests and methodology should be united,” said Matecna at a press conference after the summit.

The Slovak minister further stated that the participants in the summit also concurred that there are directives already in place enabling the Union to deal with the issue of double standards in food quality. “One of these is legislation that speaks about unfair commercial practices. At the same time we concurred that if this legislation and its implementation fails, we’ll once again put pressure on to make it even more stringent,” said Matecna.

EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova said that she came to the summit to unveil a plan for addressing the issue of double standards in product quality. “I think that we have a good plan that has been built on current European legislation. It’s a result-oriented plan aimed at getting rid of the unfair commercial practice that features the production and selling of goods of different quality under the same brand,” said the EU commissioner, adding that the plan is expected to be implemented in the next two years.

According to European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis, all EU citizens and consumers have the same status. “There are no second-category citizens. I’d like to assure the public that no food safety rules have been violated so far, but we don’t want the consumer to be misled. I fully support the proposals presented at today’s summit,” said Andriukaitis.