Consultative Council Meeting Minutes - 12 July 2016

 Members Present:  

Veronica Campbell
Ray Bowe
Maree Gallagher
Margaret Leahy
Dermott Jewell
Breda Raggett
Pat Daly
Brendan Kehoe
Paula Mee

 FSAI Staff in attendance:  

Raymond Ellard
Dorothy Guina Dornan
Eileen Lippert
Judith O’Connor


Susanne Boyd
Cormac Healy
Donal Maguire
Una Fitzgibbon
Sinead Finnegan
Martin Roper
Tim O’Brien


1. Presentation from Janet McCoy (JMcC) – Head of Investigation, Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

Ms McCoy and her colleague Lisa Donnelly (LD) were introduced to the members. JMcC made a presentation entitled ‘Sellers Online – Traders Obligations and Consumer Rights under Consumer Protection Legislation’. Some of the main points included:

  • There are more than 30 pieces of legislation governing consumer protection and consumer rights. These include rules on Unfair Commercial Practices; Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts; Pricing Legislation; Consumer Rights
  • An elaboration on the Consumer Rights Directive (CRD)
  • Exemptions to the CRD
  • Pre-contractual information which must be provided to consumers
  • Additional information on the right to cancel
  • Information on the exemptions to the right to cancel
  • Some other pre-contractual issues and post-contractual requirements
  • Additional information on cancellation
  • Enforcement action

Action: A hard copy of the presentation was circulated at the meeting and EL will email the presentation to the members.

Noted: JMcC and LD dealt with queries and requests for clarification after the presentation.

2. Presentation from Dr Judith O'Connor (JOC) – E-commerce and Food Control

Dr O’Connor was introduced to the members and her presentation focussed on:

  • E-commerce food legislation – Reg. 178/2002; Reg. 1169/2011; Reg. 1924/2006 and Reg. 882/2004
  • Means of distance communication
  • Labelling rules apply to more than just to labels
  • Examples of incorrect labelling and misleading advertising
  • The plethora of e-commerce channels
  • Difficulties involved in monitoring e-commerce
  • Speed at which online information can change
  • Examples of consumer complaints
  • Described authorised claims and non-authorised claims
  • Examples of well-known advertising with non-authorised claims
  • Difficulties in locating virtual business and complexities of where FBOs are located
  • Progress made by the FSAI to date
  • EU-level and cross-country cooperation and examples of this.

Action: EL will circulate the presentation to the members.

Noted: RE elaborated on difficulties experienced by the FSAI in dealing with the online sellers and virtual companies. This led to much discussion and questioning. Potential risks were highlighted and discussed, and possible solutions to issues put forward and analysed.

Noted: The issue of apricot kernels was raised in the course of discussions and it was queried if this food item is used in animal feed.

Action: RE agreed that FSAI will look at preparing a CoP into the subject of apricot kernels.

3. Agree Minutes of Previous Meetings

Agreed: The minutes of the meeting on 25th February were agreed without amendment.

Agreed: The minutes of the meeting on 27th April were agreed without amendment.

4. Matters Arising

Noted: Confirmation of the meeting in September being a joint meeting with the Food Advisory Committee of FSA in Northern Ireland was sought. FSAI will look into this and revert to the members.

Action: Members would like the presentations from the Open Meeting to be posted on the website. The Council was advised that there were copyright and permission issues, but FSAI would look into this.

5. FSAI Update

Noted: RE gave an updated the members on:

  • An outbreak of VTEC O157 in Cork
  • Guidance that FSAI if preparing on the serving of burgers
  • “Advice on Risk Management following isolation of STEC in Beef” which was recently developed, mainly for exporters by FSAI in collaboration with DAFM
  • An organic salmon incident in Donegal
  • Positive progress being made regarding online sale of foods and food supplements
  • The successful prosecution of Keelaghan Meats for incorrect labelling of meat
  • The recent internal re-organisation of the FSAI
  • The appointment of the new FSAI Scientific Committee.

Action: FSAI will arrange a meeting with the Chair of the FSCC and the Scientific Committee.

6. Review of the Open Meeting

Agreed: The members agreed the Open Meeting was very interesting and raised a lot of questions, to which there are no clear answers. Members were very satisfied with the venue, the structure and the format. One of the members suggested making a podcast of future Open Meetings and FSAI will consider this suggestion.

7. AOB

There was no other business

8. Date of Next Meeting

Action: EL will circulate a doodle poll for dates in September following discussions with FSAI NI counterparts about a joint meeting.


Last reviewed: 14/12/2016

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