The European Parliament has approved reformed controls on the levels of pharmacologically active substances present in food products sold in the EU.

It has backed a proposal establishing safety net limits for medicinal residues in meat and dairy ingredients and foods where such chemicals are not yet specifically controlled in the EU.

The move also establishes a fast-track procedure for the establishment of temporary, five-year substance-specific limits by the European Commission.

Food manufacturers will be responsible for checking residue levels in their products and ingredients.

A parliament communiqué said the reforms were designed not to prevent veterinary products in the EU, but to "enhance their availability".