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This introductory book concerns a new, evolving and still not definite subject: global food safety law and regulation. One of the peculiarities of food safety relies in the fact that its specificity is not exclusive or mono-dimensional, while being saddled between consumers’ health protection and other economic factors and stakes, notably free trade of goods. At the same time, rules concerning food safety are characterized by few original traits: the dialectic between producers’ and consumers’ interests; the strategic role played by scientific findings in decision-making, which may conflict with a discretional precautionary approach; the implication of cultural, political and traditional insights, which create clashes between local specialities and global harmonization; the world-wide relevance of the public policies. All this makes food safety a crucial issue in nowadays administrative regulation.
The book is divided in five sections: the first one is introductory and gives a descriptive definition of the subject; the second one illustrates its main problems and characters through the analysis of three specific legal cases; the third one is a general and articulated analysis of the international legal framework of the subject at stake; the fourth one is dedicated to the main body of global food safety law – the Codex Alimentarius Commission; the final chapter presents some conclusions focusing on the problems, challenges and future perspective of food safety law and regulation.