Plans from the European Commission for a Europe-wide food safety authority have received unconditional support from the European Parliament. The blueprint for a European Food Authority forms an important part of the Commission's food policy plans embodied in the November 1999 White Paper on food safety. MEPs supported a report which not only supports the Commission's proposals, but also endorses the general thrust of the White Paper. The paper proposes, through the extension of existing legislation and the introduction of new regulations and directives, an overall tightening up of food health standards throughout the EU. Consumer commissioner David Byrne is planning that the bulk of the new legislation, which will tighten food handling rules throughout the food chain from farm to plate, should be in place by December 2001. {{NEWS }}