The System of Food Law in the European Union

Bernd van der Meulen


The first decade of the twenty-first century has seen a complete recast of the regulatory infrastructure for food in the European Union (EU), changing its previously strict market orientation and turning it into an instrument with the primary objective of ensuring food safety. This article contributes to the comparative study of food law by analysing the new body of EU food law and bringing the underlying structure to the forefront. EU food law applies an holistic approach to the food chain, addressing, on the basis of scientific risk analysis: food as a product in terms of its accepted ingredients and the
limits placed on contaminants; the processes of food production, trade and risk management; and the presentation of food in advertising and labelling. The European Commission and the Member States share responsibility for
official controls, incident management and enforcement.

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