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2-Choroethanol and the Precautionary Principle in Article 7 of the General Food Law – Recent German Jurisdiction journal article

Andreas Meisterernst, Anna Neusch

European Food and Feed Law Review, Volume 17 (2022), Issue 5, Page 338 - 342

How authorities dealt with findings of 2-Chloroethanol (2CE) in food during the ‘Ethyleneoxide crisis’ was the subject of several recent court decisions in Germany. Three of the four Higher Administrative Courts involved at last instance took the view that the precautionary principle in Art. 7 General Food Law (GFL) had been violated. The following article will take a closer look at the main arguments of the leading decision by the Higher Administrative Court of Bavaria and will also explain why the dissenting decision by the Higher Administrative Court of Hamburg is not to be followed.

2-Choroethanol and the Precautionary Principle in Article 7 of the General Food Law journal article

Andreas Meisterernst, Anna Neusch

European Food and Feed Law Review, Volume 17 (2022), Issue 3, Page 202 - 207

The number of product recalls in the EU due to findings of 2-Chloroethanol (2CE) had reached as high as 10.000 by the summer of 2021 and, up to now, more than 900 Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) notifications have been made. 2CE has inconclusive data on genotoxic or carcinogenic properties. Therefore, the European Commission suggested that Member States choose a zero-tolerance approach. This meant that any product containing 2CE or products containing an ingredient known to be contaminated with 2CE – regardless of whether or not 2CE was still detectable there – should be withdrawn from the EU market and recalled from consumers. This decision was based on the precautionary principle contained in Art. 7 of the General Food Law (GFL), among others. The following article examines the zero-tolerance approach with regard to its legal justification.

New Rules For Applications to EFSA - Changes Due to the Transparency Regulation journal article

Anna Neusch, Anne-Marie Orth, Andreas Meisterernst

European Food and Feed Law Review, Volume 16 (2021), Issue 3, Page 188 - 201

The fight against the extension of the authorisation of glyphosate as a plant protection product activated NGOs from 2014 onwards. Numerous accusations were made against the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, which was involved in the approval process, and the work of the EFSA. More or less explicitly, the regulatory authorities were accused of cronyism with industry. The citizens' initiative to ban glyphosate that was subsequently submitted to the Commission in 2017, as well as the considerable media bombardment, led to the Commission attempting to go on the offensive with the Transparency Regulation. New regulations on risk communication and the transparent functioning of EFSA were intended to take the wind out of the sails of future criticism. The new regulations in this regard will apply from 27.3.2021. The following article deals with the effects of the new regulations on application procedures at EFSA, some clarified and several still open questions.

Union Law Basis and Official Controls of the Nutri-Score® journal article

Andreas Meisterernst, Leonie Evans

European Food and Feed Law Review, Volume 15 (2020), Issue 3, Page 202 - 211

The French Nutri-Score® is on its way to success. The approach of a simple depiction explaining which foods are better or worse than others is politically convincing. There have been enough models for symbols: the British traffic light, the Scandinavian key-hole system and, more recently, the Italian battery model. As propagated by consumer protection associations and NGOs, they are all designed to provide quick and concise information to the (thus probably volatile) consumer who is overwhelmed by the perception of the nutrition declaration and the list of ingredients. Germany has now decided to implement the French Nutri-Score® system as well. The legal basis found for the Nutri-Score® in EU law differs in the several member states which introduced it. This topic will be discussed in this article as well as the issue of how the new labelling could be officially monitored.

12 Years of a Learning Process — What Has the HCR Brought? journal article

Andreas Meisterernst, Bernd Haber

European Food and Feed Law Review, Volume 14 (2019), Issue 4, Page 310 - 322

Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims (HCR) has been in force since 01 July 2007. Even before the regulation entered into force, the authors already presented the main features of the HCR in an essay in this journal. From the beginning we studied the implementation of this legal act as commentators. After the first one, three and five years applying the rules, short interim conclusions were drawn. The term “learning process” was adopted by a member of the European Commission who was involved in the genesis and implementation of the HCR. He aptly describes the implementation of the HCR as a journey into the unknown in its imperfection. After 12 years, the regulation has gradually outgrown its infancy, but is still in development — a good time for a review.