Across the EUniverse – Number Six – Special edition on Food for EXPO Milano 2015
Across the EUniverse is NCTM’s way of looking at what is happening in EU law and bringing our experience and understanding of developments in Brussels as lawyers to a wider audience. It has to be a bit technical. But we hope that it is also accessible to the non-lawyers. You can be the judge of that.
NCTM has offices in Rome, Verona, Brussels, London and Shanghai but its head office is in Milan. We also have an extensive experience in food and agricultural law. Our partner Bernard O’Connor teaches a full time Food Law course at the State University of Milan. We represent large and small food and drink enterprises.
So given our roots in Milan, and our vocation for food, we could not let EXPO 2015 pass without producing a special edition of Across the EUniverse dedicated to Food, inspired by the coordinator of Across, Giovanni Moschetta, Of Counsel to the firm and expert of European Law. In this edition we look at some of the biggest issues in relation to food law. Giovanni tells us that in the future other special editions of Across will look at issues such as the COP 21 Conference on Climate to be held in Paris in December.
We are deeply honoured that Paolo De Castro former Minister of Agriculture in Italy and, as the then chairman of the European Parliament’s Agri Committee, the key Parliamentarian coordinating the 2013 reforms of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, gives us his views on innovation and the right to food. He is someone steeped in agriculture, food and the law and at the heart of EU and Italian food policy debates. We also honoured to have a contribution from Pierpaolo Rossi (Legal Services of the European Commission, but writing in his private capacity) on an issue of agricultural law which has an impact on fundamental aspects of EU law.
What is the Right to Food? And if there is a Right, does any entity or body have a corresponding Obligation? How do we translate international agreements into binding national rules?
What is the latest development in Italy’s ‘Made In’ strategy? Italy is looking to propose that food manufacturers must indicate the place of production on Italian food labels. The EU thinks this is a step too far. But maybe Italy can get it right this time.
We think that there may be room for Italy to introduce the requirement to indicate the place of production on the label. What is less clear is whether Italy will be able to maintain the requirement that cheese must be made from fresh milk and not powdered milk. We look at the politics and the law.
What’s happening in relation to GMOs? The attitudes on both sides of the debate are fairly entrenched and yet we still see efforts to develop the law so as to bridge the gap. What exactly is going on? We look at the latest proposals to change the law.
Food law can be dense and detailed. And so to give a flavour of this, we have look at the law in relation to food supplements, a branch of law demanding more and more attention.
Our guest contributor from the Legal Service of the European Commission, Pierpaolo Rossi, writing in his private capacity, looks at a landmark ruling in relation to the Sugar sector. In the Tate & Lyle case the EU Court of Justice (the supreme court of the European Union) defined how access to judicial review will work for the foreseeable future.
We could not write in Italy without writing about Geographical Indications. We look at GIs in the trade agreement concluded between the EU and Canada. Has the European Commission taken the right approach? We are not so sure.
We then examine China’s new Food Safety Law. China has had to react strongly to the food safety scandals that hit the country over the last years by introducing a range of measures to build consumer confidence. Stricter standards have been introduced. Penalties are stronger. Traceability is a requirement. It can be seen that the new Chinese framework shares the same origins and the same tools as EU food safety law.
Finally, we conclude this special edition of Across the EUniverse with an ‘atypical’ contribution, not legal but ‘practical’, from UNAPROA (the National Union of producer organisations in the fruit, vegetables, citrus and nuts sector), an important Italian Association in the fruit and vegetable sector. UNAPROA presents ‘Nourish yourself with the colours of Life’, a programme of communication and practice financed by the European Union and the Italy.