The differences between agricultural law and food law are becoming progressively blurred. This is only natural because both intend to control that food products placed in the market are safe and respond to a certain standard of quality. In their present form, both are relatively new legal disciplines, evolving and expanding very rapidly and a great number of new and transcendental regulations (and an increasing number of compulsory private rules) are being enacted to respond to new realities.
One of these new realities is the legal protection of quality in food. Once almost exclusively applied to a limited number of traditional well-known products and now extended to many products covered by designations of origin or geographical indications. Another area is food safety, a major concern of the legislator. Food alerts, recalls and withdrawals have been carefully regulated to guarantee a rapid and efficient reaction, but these legal mechanisms appear to be less well-designed when dealing with the unwanted consequences of unjustified alerts. A third topic is food prices and trading conditions, an area that cannot always be completely left to unregulated market-forces due to the special nature of the product involved.
The above issues are analysed by several experts from different legal backgrounds and countries, a varied approach adequate to the hybrid nature of food law.
These are compiled in the book “From Agricultural to food law”, edited by Vicente Rodríguez Fuentes (2014) and published after the 2012 EFLA Congress, available here in two versions: Print version and as E-book.