LAW-22806 Food Law

Code last year: (LAW-30806)


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. H Schebesta
Lecturer(s)dr. A Herwig
dr. H Schebesta
dr. K Purnhagen
Examiner(s)dr. K Purnhagen
dr. H Schebesta

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Prior legal background is not a prerequisite for participation in this course, although it is, of course, welcome.
Legal Regulation and Management of Production Chains (LAW-12306); Food Quality Management (FQD-20306).

Continuation courses:

Food Law, Management and Economics (LAW-32806), Food Safety Management (FHM-61312), Intellectual Property Rights (LAW-32306), Global Economic (Trade) Law and Risk Regulation (LAW-31806), Comparative Food Law : PR China and the USA (LAW-39806), Food, Nutrition and Human Rights (LAW-55306), Agricultural Law (LAW-55806)  


The regulation of food addresses a variety of concerns ranging from food safety and quality standards and procedures to food marketing and labeling or consumer protection and information.

The course teaches the making of, content and application of food law, with a focus on the European Union. It covers in particular:
- the General Food Law Regulation that establishes general principles and requirements of food law, governs the European Food and Safety Authority, and lays down procedures on food safety;
- special EU legislation on food e.g. hygiene and safety; the marketing of novel and GMO foods; consumer protection; food information and product labeling; use of pesticides and organic farming; nutrition and health claims on foods, as well as private enforcement issues;
- international trade rules that are relevant to food, notably under the WTO and Codex Alimentarius at the global level of food law.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand how specific topics in the food domain are regulated;
- understand the processes of food law making;
- understand how to determine motives or causes, and make interpretations on the basis of an analysis of the concepts, relationships and organizational principles of the domain;
- find and use the relevant legal databases and information sources;
- refer to law accurately, and deploy legal reasoning to reach conclusions;
- solve legal problems (‘cases’) in the food domain;
- apply the theoretical framework to real regulatory issues in so-called cases.


Activities during the food law course consist of:
- master the self-study package in week 1;
- take the intake assessment quiz in week 1 to receive tutorial group placement;
- read the required literature before the lectures;
- attend lectures twice a week;
- write and submit a weekly legal case assignments (groupwork);
- discuss the legal case assignments in the weekly practicals;
- take the final exam.


Final grading is based on a written exam (100%) with 50% multiple choice questions and 50% essay questions. A minimum pass mark of 5,5 is required for the exam. Students that have passed the written exam receive an additional 0,5 mark bonus for the successful completion of all legal case assignments or an additional 1,0 bonus for excellent (top 2% quality) completion of the legal case assignments. The bonus is valid for 5 years.


- Food Law reader with legal materials: available at the WUR-shop
- Additional literature in Brightspace 

Compulsory for: MFSFood SafetyMSc2MO
MFQFood Quality ManagementMSc2MO
Restricted Optional for: BFTFood TechnologyBSc2MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScC: Product Design2MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScF: European Master in Food Studies2MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScE: Dairy Science and Technology2MO