My dear friend Francesco Montanari recently published this excellent book – co-authored with Veronika Jezso and Carlo Donati – which highlights one of the less explored areas of food law: the import of food of non-animal origin. Despite these products are traditionally considered less dangerous than food of animal origin, recent food crisis showed that this stereotype is set to change. Moreover, this subject has a major impact on market access and, more generally, on trade flows in a globalized and theoretically liberalized market.
This latest Springer Brief aims at providing a general understanding of the rationale – scientific as well as political – behind EU policy and related risk management decisions regarding imports of food of non-animal origin. Indeed, over the last years, threats deriving from imported food of non-animal origin seem to have multiplied, including sprout seeds contaminated with E. coli and strawberries containing hepatitis A or noroviruses.
Against this background, the authors explain the mechanism of reinforced controls at EU borders on certain imports of non-animal origin as well as the wide spectrum of EU emergency measures currently imposing trade restrictions on some of those products considered as presenting a high risk for public health. They also examine all chemical and non-chemical risks that may be associated with imports of non-animal origin and their impact on human health, taking into account the scientific output by the European Food Safety Authority.