The European Union would give technical aid to any ASEAN country to help improve hygiene deficiencies, which could prevent the exports of their foodstuff to the EU, local newspapers said on Monday.
EU's main concern was the safety of all food exported to the EU for human consumption, European Commission Health and Consumer Protection director-general Jerome Lepeintre said.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was a major food exporter to the EU, he told reporters last weekend at a one-day forum on EU-ASEAN cooperation on Codex food standards in Kota Kinabalu, capital of the Sabah State in East Malaysia.
Stressing that Codex standards benefited both the EU and ASEAN, he said that ASEAN countries like Malaysia and Thailand were already active in that respect, while Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam were lagging.
Lepeintre also said that all food must be labelled as such if they contain genetically modified organisms, something which the United States has resisted.