Thursday, July 05, 2012

WTO rules against U.S. appeal on country-of-origin labeling

World Trade Organization(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The WTO Appellate Body that upheld an earlier WTO finding that mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) for livestock violates U.S. WTO obligations. Under the U.S. COOL law in force since March 2009, food processors must identify the nations from which cattle, hogs, and some fresh produce originate. Canada and Mexico said the provisions impose unjust costs on their exports, reducing their competitiveness. WTO judges agreed on Nov. 18 that beef and pork from Canada and Mexico were treated less favorably than the same U.S. products. From the WTO summary:
In its analysis under Article 2.1 of the TBT Agreement, the Appellate Body agreed with the Panel that the COOL measure has a detrimental impact on imported livestock because its recordkeeping and verification requirements create an incentive for processors to use exclusively domestic livestock, and a disincentive against using like imported livestock.  The Appellate Body found, however, that the Panel's analysis was incomplete because the Panel did not go on to consider whether this de facto detrimental impact stems exclusively from a legitimate regulatory distinction, in which case it would not violate Article 2.1.  In its own analysis, the Appellate Body found that the COOL measure lacks even-handedness because its recordkeeping and verification requirements impose a disproportionate burden on upstream producers and processors of livestock as compared to the information conveyed to consumers through the mandatory labelling requirements for meat sold at the retail level.  That is, although a large amount of information must be tracked and transmitted by upstream producers for purposes of providing consumers with information on origin, only a small amount of this information is actually communicated to consumers in an understandable or accurate manner, including because a considerable proportion of meat sold in the United States is not subject to the COOL measure's labeling requirements at all.  Accordingly, the detrimental impact on imported livestock cannot be said to stem exclusively from a legitimate regulatory distinction, and instead reflects discrimination in violation of Article 2.1.  For these reasons, the Appellate Body upheld the Panel's finding under Article 2.1.
In its analysis under Article 2.2 of the TBT Agreement, the Appellate Body found that the Panel properly identified the objective of the COOL measure as being “to provide consumer information on origin”.  The Appellate Body found, however, that the Panel erred in its interpretation and application of Article 2.2.  This was because the Panel appeared to have considered, incorrectly, that a measure could be consistent with Article 2.2 only if it fulfilled its objective completely or exceeded some minimum level of fulfillment, and to have ignored its own findings, which demonstrated that the COOL measure does contribute, at least to some extent, to achieving its objective.  The Appellate Body therefore reversed the Panel's finding that the COOL measure is inconsistent with Article 2.2, but was unable to determine whether the COOL measure is more trade restrictive than necessary to fulfill a legitimate objective within the meaning of Article 2.2.
The appellate body ruling is available here.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

CANADA Updates to the food labelling and advertising information

Updates made to the food labelling and advertising information / mises a jour apportées à l'information sur l'étiquetage et la publicité
There have been several updates made to the food labelling and advertising information.  Please refer to the Updates page at for detailed information.
Nature of Changes
Compliance and Enforcement of Gluten-Free Claims
June 2012
Consultation on the Guidelines for Highlighted Ingredients and Flavours
Posting of the Guidelines for Highlighted Ingredients and Flavours for public comments
June 2012
Origin Claims Information
Consolidated information on Origin Claims and provided additional information on the use of voluntary multiple country of origin statements
May 2012
Country of Origin Labelling Information
To provide information on country of origin labelling requirements, a new webpage on Country of Origin Labellinghas been added
May 2012
"Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" Labelling Information
May 2012
Labelling of Genetically Engineered Foods in Canada Factsheet
Consolidated the previous two factsheets on the labelling of genetically engineered foods and voluntary labelling of products of genetic engineereing into one factsheet called Labelling of Genetically Engineered Foods in Canada
May 2012
Food Irradiation Information
Consolidated information on Food Irradiation
May 2012
Method of Production Information
Consolidated information on claims and statements related toMethod of Production and provided additional guidance on the use of "Halal" claims
May 2012
Legibility and Location of Labelling Information
Consolidated information on Legibility and Location of Labelling Information and provided additional guidance on the legibility and location requirements for mandatory and voluntary labelling information on food labels
April 2012
Date Markings Information
Consolidated information on Date Markings and provided additional guidance on the date marking requirements for foods including shipping containers and modified atmosphere packaged foods
April 2012
Bilingual Labelling Information
Consolidated information on Bilingual Labelling and provided additional guidance on bilingual labelling of voluntary information and the exemption from bilingual labelling for local foods
April 2012
Results from Web Questionnaire
April 2012
Chapter 6
Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising
Addition of Barley Beta-Glucan Concentrate (partially hydrolysed)
BarlivTM Barley Betafiber to Table 6-12
February 2012
Consultation on Wine Labelling
Posting of the Consultation on Wine Labelling for public comments
January 2012

Thursday, June 07, 2012

EFSA Refute France's Justification for Ban on GM Maize Variety

In 2008, France banned the the strain MON 810, but this was overturned by a French court in 2011. Citing risks to environmental health, French Agricultural Minister Bruno Le Maire in March 2012 reinstated a ban against this variety of GM maize. 

Following a request of the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) evaluated documentation submitted by France in support of its request for the prohibition of marketing the genetically modified maize MON 810 under Article 34 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003. The EFSA GMO Panel notes that some publications referred to by France were already part of the submission package by France for its safeguard clause and emergency measure on maize MON 810 in 2008. Those publications were addressed previously by the EFSA GMO Panel in its 2008 Scientific Opinion on the safeguard clause and emergency measure notified by France on maize MON 810. 

In the remaining documentation provided by France, the EFSA GMO Panel could not identify any new science-based evidence indicating that maize MON 810 cultivation in the EU poses a significant and imminent risk to the human and animal health or the environment. With regard to issues related to management and monitoring of maize MON 810, the EFSA GMO Panel refers to its recent recommendations for management and monitoring measures of maize MON 810. 

In conclusion, the EFSA GMO Panel considers that, based on the documentation submitted by France, there is no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environment, that would support the notification of an emergency measure under Article 34 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 and that would invalidate its previous risk assessments of maize MON 810. The EFSA report is available here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Food Law Short Courses
Food Law Short Course & Seminar

» Hurry, registration is limited
Michigan State University - East Lansing, Michigan
The program consists of two courses, a U.S. food law short course, and a food regulation current issues seminar. Participants may choose to take one or both. The courses are offered in a collegial, intimate learning environment.

U.S. Food Law Short Course
July 16-17 (Monday-Tuesday) 2012
The U.S. Food Law Short Course is designed as an introduction to U.S. food laws and regulations for professionals in the field. It is well suited for those new to the field but also comprehensive enough on the essential elements of food law to provide a refresher course for the experienced professional.

Food Regulation Current Issues Seminar
 July 18-19 (Wednesday-Thursday) 2012
The Food Regulation Current Issues Seminar provides practical education on current food legal and regulatory issues. The topics cover cutting edge issues of food regulation, involving FDA, USDA, advertising, and global issues. Speakers from the legal, government, food industry, and academic professions will present practical food safety and food law information and case studies. 
For more information, click here
Register Online

Free Bonus
U.S. Food Law Short Course participants will receive a copy of the book, Food Regulation: Law, Science, Policy, and Practice by Neal Fortin. The book provides an accessible discussion of the federal statutes, regulations, and agencies involved in food regulation in the United States.
The Instructors

David ACHESON, Partner at Leavitt Partners, former Assistant Commissioner for Food Protection, FDA

Les BOURQUIN, Professor of Food Safety, Michigan State University

Ricardo CARVAJAL, Attorney and Director, Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C.

Roger CLEMENS, Chief Scientific Officer, Horn; President, Institute of Food Technologists

Nicole COUTRELIS, Lawyer and Partner, Coutrelis & Associes, Paris and Brussels

Neal FORTIN, Attorney, Professor and Director, Institute for Food Laws and Regulations

P. Vincent HEGARTY, Founding Director and Professor Emeritus, Institute for Food Laws and Regulation

James E. HOADLEY, Senior Consultant, EAS Consultant Group

Steve KLUTING, Attorney and Partner, Varnum, LLP

Janine LEWIS, Principal Nutritionist, Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Scott J. MACINTYRE (invited), District Director, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Kenneth ODZA, Corporate Counsel, Food Safety, Kellogg Company

F. Edward SCARBROUGH, Principal, Scarbrough Consultants, former U.S. Manager for Codex and Director

Jenny SCOTT (invited), Senior Advisor, Office of Food Safety, FDA CFSAN

John SPINK, Director, Packaging for Food and Product Protection Initiative, MSU

Steve STEINBORN, Attorney and Partner, Hogan Lovells, US, LLP

Charles WOODHOUSE, Attorney and Partner, Woodhouse Shanahan PA

Cathy WEIR, Global Regulatory Associate Director, Mead Johnson Nutrition

Gerald WOJTALA, Executive Director, International Food Protection Training Institute

About IFLR

Learn more about IFLR at: or call (517) 355-8295
      Email:                       Telephone: (517) 355-8295
Fax: (517) 432-1492                        web:  
Institute for Food Laws and Regulation
Michigan State University, 139 G.M. Trout Building, East Lansing, MI 48824

 If you would like to be sure of receiving future IFLR announcements:
Subscribe to the IFLR mailing list

Friday, May 18, 2012

FDA to Convene a FSMA Public Meeting on International Capacity Building with Respect to Food Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Public Meeting on International Capacity Building with Respect to Food Safety. The meeting will be held on June 19, 2012, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel, 480 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, DC. Read more information on the FSMA International Capacity Building Public Meeting.

For more information on FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act, visit

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2nd HEC Paris Workshop on Regulating Lifestyle Risks - Call for Papers

Call For Papers
2nd HEC Paris Workshop on Regulation

Regulating Lifestyle Risks in Europe: The Case of Alcohol, Tobacco and Unhealthy Diets 

HEC Paris, 27 and 28 September 2012 

In September 2011, the UN General Assembly declared that the global burden and threat of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) constituted one of the major challenges for development in the twenty-first century: in 2008, 36 of the 57 million deaths globally (63%) were attributed to NCDs, including cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. By recognizing NCDs as largely preventable, it urged the international community to take action at global, regional and national levels to prevent and control their surge. To this end it recommended the adoption of a 'regulatory mix' of multi-sectoral, cost-effective, population-wide interventions in order to reduce the impact of the common NCD risk factors, namely tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity. Yet how to respond to the growing incidence of NCDs is a major source of complexities in risk analysis and regulatory decision-making: the conditions in which people live, poverty, uneven distribution of wealth, lack of education, rapid urbanization and population ageing, as well as the economic, social, gender, political, behavioral and environmental determinants of health are all contributory factors to the prevalence of NCDs. At the same time, the legitimacy, the effectiveness as well as the design of any regulatory intervention aimed at promoting healthier lifestyle remainhighly contested. 

The European Union has recently recognized the growing impact of NCDs on the EU's economy and the well-being of its citizens and has consequently started to develop policies intended to tackle the four main factors to which they are linked. Nevertheless, if common themes emerge between the different EU policies intended to promote healthier lifestyles, no attempt has yet been made to systematize them. 

We therefore propose to hold a two-day workshop with selected speakers and discussants to identify horizontal, common themes and determine whether the lessons learned in relation to each area of EU intervention may be transposed to the others. More generally, this workshop will offer an opportunity for researchers (PhD students, post-docs, researchers and established academics), policy makers and other stakeholders to reflect on the role which the European Union should play in promoting healthier lifestyles, in light of the moral, philosophical, legal and political challenges associated with the regulation of individual choices. Special attention will be paid to the role that the relevant industries may realistically be called to play in tackling the rising tide of NCDs.

THEMES: The questions the workshop will focus on include (but are not limited to):
- the role of the EU in promoting healthier lifestyle and how powers should be shared between the EU and its Member States in public health matters;
- the role of consumer information, taxation, reformulation and marketing restrictions with regard to tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food in promoting healthier lifestyles and their impact on the EU internal market;
- the international role the EU can/should play and its relationship with the World Health Organization and other international organizations, as a result of the conclusion of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the 2004 WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health and the 2007 WHO Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol;
- identification of the drivers behind the emergence of an EU lifestyle policy: is there an economic case for regulating lifestyle health risk determinants?
- the role of the EU impact assessment system in the preparation of legislative proposals and rule-making;
- the role played by the principles of transparency, consultation, and proportionality in ensuring that the legitimate interests of key stakeholders are sufficiently taken into account;
- the role of various stakeholders in supporting healthier lifestyles, including the role of the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health and the EU Alcohol and Health Forum;
- the assessment of different policy initiatives to determine the most appropriate forms of intervention (statutory regulation, self-regulation, co-regulation, nudges) in relevant policy areas;
- the challenge of integrating the findings of behavioral research into lifestyle policy-making, in particular the potential role and legitimacy of nudge-inspired measures in changing individual behavior and establishing social norms;
- the extent to which tobacco control may represent a blueprint for the regulation of lifestyle risks in the EU; - what the specific characteristics of EU regulation are that make problems easier or harder to solve than at national level;
- the extent to which the particular vulnerability of children requires a targeted regulatory intervention;
- the role the right to health and other fundamental rights should play in the debate;
- the impact of lifestyle regulation policies on the IP system, such as trademarks, and technological innovation, such as e-cigarettes, food reformulation and food supplements;
- the extent to which it is beneficial and justified to talk about an emerging EU lifestyle policy;
- the constraints imposed by the WTO Agreements to the emergence of a EU lifestyle regulation policy. 

- Alberto Alemanno, Associate Professor of Law at HEC Paris and Editor of the European Journal of Risk Regulation
- Amandine Garde, Senior Lecturer in Law and Director of the Durham European Law Institute, Durham University 

EVENT: The event will consist of a two-day workshop to be held at HEC Paris Campus on 27 and 28 September 2012. The workshop is supported by the Jean Monnet Chair in EU Law & Risk Regulation as well as by the HEC Paris Foundation. 

OUTCOMES: It is anticipated that the papers presented at the workshop will form the basis of an edited collection. 

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Please submit an abstract of between 300 and 500 words, including a title, to Alberto Alemanno, and Amandine Garde, by Tuesday 22nd May 2012. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

EU Law Course on iTunes U

Alberto Alemanno's EU Law course is now available on iTunes U and the HEC Paris page

If you have not had the good fortune to hear Dr. Alemanno speak, these lectures will provide a pleasant introduction to what you have been missing. He is a shining star in his field, enthusiastic in sharing his knowledge, and a gifted educator. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

U.S. seeks WTO consultations with India for banning U.S. poultry

United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced that the U.S. Government is requesting consultations with the Government of India under the dispute settlement provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning India's prohibition on certain American agricultural exports, including poultry meat and chicken eggs. India claims that this trade ban is aimed at preventing avian influenza, but it has not provided scientific evidence in line with international standards on avian-influenza control.

Ambassador Kirk said, "India's ban on U.S. poultry is clearly a case of disguising trade restrictions by invoking unjustified animal health concerns."

Consultations are the first step in the WTO dispute settlement process and parties are encouraged to agree to a solution at this stage. If the matter is not resolved through consultations, the United States may request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel.

Since at least February of 2007, India has formally banned imports of various agricultural products from the United States, supposedly to prevent outbreaks of avian influenza in India. India instituted this ban even though the United States has not had an outbreak of High Pathogenic Avian Influenza ("HPAI") since 2004. In addition, international standards for avian-influenza control do not support the imposition of import bans due to detections of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI), the only kind of AI found in the United States since 2004.

The WTO's Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures ("SPS Agreement") explicitly recognizes that WTO Members have the right to adopt regulations to protect human, animal, or plant life or health. However, the SPS Agreement also requires WTO Members to take certain steps to ensure that such regulations are not merely a cover for protectionism. India appears to have acted inconsistently with its WTO obligations in this case. In particular, India's ban does not appear to be supported by scientific evidence or a valid risk assessment.

Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Law & Science Young Scholars Informal Symposium and Prize

The 2012 Law & Science Young Scholars Informal Symposium will be held at the University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy, on 14 May 2012.

The Symposium aims to create a forum for post-graduate scholars, PhD students, and early-career researchers working in the area of Law & Science. It will provide participants with an opportunity to present and discuss their research with senior researchers of the Law Science community in a constructive and friendly atmosphere.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 13 February 2012
Deadline for submission of full paper: 14 April 2012
Notification of Acceptance: 30 April 2012
Symposium presentation: 14 May 2012
Official language: English
Place:  Aula Scarpa, University of Pavia (Italy)

Conference participation is free.
For registration and information please write to Scientific Secretariat.
Scientific Secretariat:
Alessandra Malerba:
Laura Massocchi:

New Master Degree in Food Safety Law

Wageningen University is offering a new 2-year MSc Food Safety with specialisation in Food Law. The degree focuses on the legal aspects of food safety and food safety management. 

Friday, January 06, 2012

French authorities approve soda tax legislation

French lawmakers have approved legislation for the proposed tax on sugar sweetened beverages in the country – effective from January 2012.