Unfit for Human Consumption. The Elusive Element in the EU Food Safety Concept of Article 14 GFL

40 Pages Posted: 29 May 2019

See all articles by Daniela Polinski

Daniela Polinski

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Bernd van der Meulen

European Institute for Food Law; University of Copenhagen - Institute of Food and Resource Economics

Date Written: April 13, 2019

Abstract

According to Article 14(2) of Regulation (EC) 178/2002 ‘the General Food Law,’ unsafe food, the core concept in EU food safety law, encompasses food that is injurious to health as well as food unfit for human consumption. This paper reports on an empirical study of interpretations in several EU Member States of the concept unfit for human consumption and its relation to injuriousness to health. It appears that a broad spectrum of conditions and situations is brought under this concept. Interpretations among Member States vary considerably. Substantive, procedural and communicational non-compliances may be found under the concept. Also, not otherwise regulated conditions may lead to the classification of food as unfit for human consumption.

The paper argues in favour of a return to the initial approach of the European Commission in its proposal for what is now the General Food Law. Food should only be classified as unfit for consumption if it is likely to be injurious to health due to conditions such as indicated in Article 14(5) of the General Food Law. In case of non-compliance with other provisions of food law, Member States can enforce. A detour via classification of the non-complying food as unfit for consumption is not needed to this end.

Keywords: Unfit for Human Consumption, Unsafe Food, Food Law, General Food Law

JEL Classification: K20, K23, K30, K32, Q18

Suggested Citation

Polinski, Daniela and van der Meulen, Bernd M.J., Unfit for Human Consumption. The Elusive Element in the EU Food Safety Concept of Article 14 GFL (April 13, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3371444 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3371444

Daniela Polinski

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Bernd M.J. Van der Meulen (Contact Author)

European Institute for Food Law ( email )

Muzenplein 3
Amsterdam, 1077wc
Netherlands

University of Copenhagen - Institute of Food and Resource Economics ( email )

Rolighedsvej 25
Copenhagen, 1958
Denmark

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