A Primer on Food Law

Authored by: Ricardo Carvajal

Handbook of Nutrition and Food

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781466505711
eBook ISBN: 9781466505728
Adobe ISBN:


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The term “food law” generally refers to the body of laws that govern the production, distribution, and marketing of food. Particularly in developed economies, the business of producing food and making it available to the consumer has become the preoccupation of relatively few hands. The vast majority of consumers no longer grow their own food or know much about food production, but instead choose and purchase their food based on individual preferences shaped by social and economic circumstances, marketing efforts, and government policy. Those consumers rely on a complex, interwoven system of laws intended to ensure that the information they receive about foods is truthful, not misleading, and accurate and that the food is safe to eat. In turn, the businesses that provide foods must successfully navigate that system of laws to prosper or at least remain viable.

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