European Food Law in a Global Context
Full course description
Health Foods – Scientific and Regulatory Environment is a course that covers both the regulatory and scientific framework of EU food law and governance. In the last decades it has become clear that food safety is an inherent aspect associated with food consumption and nutrition; an aspect that in the aftermath of the BSE crisis of 1996, has highly ranked on the political and legislative agenda of the EU and its Member States. Moreover, political and socio-economic developments in developed countries have resulted in a more secure and abundant food supply than ever before. It is not surprising that in this context we may observe an increasing number of foods labelled and advertised in the EU bear nutrition and health claims. In order to ensure a high level of protection for consumers, to facilitate their choice, and to ensure their safety, the EU has set a variety of requirements concerning food safety as well as health and nutrition claims.
This course deals with this variety of requirements and will provide in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of safety, health and nutrition aspects of foods. It will hereby focus on the EU regulatory regime, but also give an insight into the global setting. It will give an appraisal of role of risk assessor and risk manager in the regulation of food products and substances. To this end, the course will first introduce students to the definition of law and the legal terminology. It will subsequently give in-depth insights in the whole set of regulatory requirements set by the EU. The course ultimately will give a critical understanding of the complex relationship of science and the law.
- Insights in the regulatory provisions that are applicable to food;
- indepth-knowledge and critical understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of EU food regulation;
- appreciation of regulatory environment: functional foods, novel foods, health claims, nutrition content claims, regulations and requirements for approval submissions in EU; appreciation of the WTO requirements on food;
- better understanding of how the EU works in practice;
- critical analysis of the challenges that the EU faces in regulating food, in particular as regards market versus non market values, science versons non-science concerns.
The preparation for the lectures and tutorials will involve (to a varying degree depending on each subject) a thorough analysis of both primary sources (EU Treaties, secondary EU legislation and case-law of the European Court of Justice, WTO law and scientific dossiers) and literature. Materials for lectures and tutorials will indicated for each subject separately. In some cases no material is indicated. In these instances a large part of preparing for the tutorial session is to identify the relevant literature, documents, legislation and case law as well as other material of relevance.