Is current EU food safety law geared up for fighting food fraud?

Bernd van der Meulen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Malicious intent appears to be a blind spot in European Union (EU) food safety law. The current system of law has been created in reaction to food safety incidents. As a consequence it has been designed to deal with accidental problems not with intentionally deceitful actions of people. The horsemeat scandal raised awareness to crime in the food chain. Can instruments of EU food safety law—recall in particular—be applied to deal with fraud? Different EU member states have answered this question differently in situations where the fraud has not caused the affected foods to be injurious to health. A closer look at food fraud shows that this concept covers a wide variety of actions. These actions have an intent to mislead in common but may differ in their effects on public health. The article argues that recall should be reserved to situations where food safety really is at stake and that to other situations of fraud financial instruments should be applied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-23
JournalJournal für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit
Issue numbersuppl.1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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