EU Food Law: Protecting Consumers and Health in a Common Market
Food safety is now an issue of major concern throughout Europe. In the aftermath of recent alarms over BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease), avian flu, foot and mouth, e-coli, and many others, the law has been seen as ill-equipped to respond to new crises, often resulting in the taking of legally questionable emergency measures. But security is not the only concern: for instance, locally and regionally produced products now come under threat from mass produced variants manufactured using inferior quality ingredients and alternative methods of production, but are legally marketable under the same food name. Yet it is difficult for national governments or the EC to take action without breaching Community rules. Subsidies in European agriculture are another issue, creating political pressures for Member States, the Union itself, and the WTO. Animal welfare, human nutrition, and human rights are other important Ã²elements in European food law.
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