Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Food related laws in EU: cases and provisions

 By: Bishrant Khatiwada, Sls, Pune,


Principles (Articles 5–10) and requirements (Articles 11–14) are included in the General Food Law (Article 14 to 21). We go through the important provisions of the General Food Law that relate to food company owners.

  1. Safety: Food must not be placed on the market if it is dangerous, according to Article 14. Food is judged dangerous if it contains any of the following ingredients: unsuitable for human consumption, harmful to health the article also explains what elements should be examined when assessing if food is harmful to one's health or inappropriate for consumption.

  2. Presentation: Article 16 states that labelling, advertising and presentation, including the setting in which the food is displayed, of food shall not mislead consumers.

  3. Imports: Article 11 states that food imported into the United Kingdom (GB) for sale must meet the criteria of food legislation, or if GB and the exporting countries have reached an agreement, the imported foods must meet the agreed-upon conditions.

  4. Exported foods: Article 12 deals with foods exported or re-exported from the United Kingdom must conform to food law unless the authorities of the importing nation have asked differently, or it complies with the importing country's laws, rules, and other legal and administrative processes.

  5. Withdrawal, recall and notification:  Article 19 requires food business operators to withdraw food which is not compliant with food safety requirements and has left their control. Food business operators must recall the food if it has reached the consumer. Food company owners must promptly notify the appropriate authorities if they have placed a food on the market that is harmful to people's health. Similarly, there are provisions for animal feed.


Cooperation between authorities with expertise of the EU agri-food chain, police and customs officers with investigation capabilities, and judges and prosecutors administrations is crucial at both the national and EU levels. The Food Fraud Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to combating food is a network made up of the European Commission, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), the liaison entities designated by the Member States, and, if applicable, the European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust).

In case of Huang v Secretary of State for the Home Department, the House of Lords held Huang and Kashmiri’s cases succeeded. The claimants’ rights needed to be read purposively and in context. An appellate authority, faced with questions under ECHR art 8, had to decide itself whether refusal was lawful, and was not a secondary reviewing body exercising deference where irrationality or something else had to be established.


The Supreme Court upheld the verdict of the High Court, ruling that only Parliament may authorize a notification under TEU Article 50 to be sent to the European Commission. All of the judges agreed, however, that the Sewel Convention, the Northern Ireland Act 1998, and the Good Friday Agreement did not require the assent of the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, or the Northern Ireland Assembly in order to activate article 50.

When, as in this case, the execution of a referendum result necessitates a change in the law of the nation and no statute provides for that change, the change in the law must be effected in the only way that the UK constitution allows, namely by Parliamentary legislation. It is completely up to Parliament to choose what shape any legislation should take. However, in light of a point made during oral argument, it is appropriate to emphasize that the fact that Parliament may choose to limit itself to a very short legislation is irrelevant.

There is no correlation between a statute's or any other document's constitutional relevance and its length or complexity. A notification under article 50(2) may, without a doubt, be extremely brief, but it would not diminish its importance. The key issue is that if, as we believe, a prerogative act would otherwise result in a change in domestic law, and the act can only be carried out legitimately with the Queen's approval through primary legislation approved in Parliament.


EFSA, in collaboration with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), releases yearly summary reports on zoonotic illnesses and foodborne outbreaks based on data provided by EU Member States. These papers show how the situation in Europe is changing in terms of the presence of zoonotic bacteria in the food chain, the incidence of animal and human infection, and illness outbreaks induced by contaminated food.


Every minute, 44 people – more than 23 million people each year – become ill as a result of tainted food, with an estimated 4700 people dying each year. This is according to an assessment of the most recent available data titled "The burden of foodborne infections in the WHO European Region," and it just scratches the surface: the true number of cases is unknown.

Food is a worldwide phenomenon, with a food chain that encircles the globe. A simple dinner might easily include components from several continents, and its safety is contingent on international cooperation. World Food Safety Day is an once-in-a-lifetime occasion to call on governments to boost food safety systems across industries and throughout the world.

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