International Food Laws and Regulations

Course Code: FSC 810

Credits: 3 credits

This course surveys the food laws and regulations of a variety of countries and regions. After an overview of general concepts in global food regulation and the international food safety agencies, the course compares and contrasts the similarities and differences in food law and regulations around the world. This course gives the student a better understanding of the issues involved in the regulation of foods and food products on a national and global level.

This course is taught by Neal Fortin, Director of the Institute for Food Laws and Regulations, as well as a number of international academics and industry professionals. All reading assignments will be available as downloads within the modules or via the provided URLs. The course syllabus is subject to change each semester but generally covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to Global Food law, General Concepts, and International Agencies
  • Critical Analysis, Science, and the Law
  • International Food Law and Risk Regulation
  • The Codex Alimentarius, the World Trade Organization, and Dispute Resolution
  • An overview of food regulation in the United States 
  • An overview of food regulation in the European Union 
  • The Comparative Law Process, Comparative Study Food Safety Governance, Southampton Colors and Novel Foods.
  • The regulation of genetically modified foods in the EU
  • An overview of Swiss food regulation
  • An overview of food regulation in Japan
  • An overview of food regulation in India
  • An overview of food regulation in Australia and New Zealand

At the end of this course, the student will:

  • Know how to use Internet-based resources to locate relevant international food laws and regulations;
  • Understand differences and similarities between international and domestic food law and regulation;
  • Be familiar with sources of international agency information, such as the WHO, FAO, Codex, and WTO, available through the Internet;
  • Participate in an international network of legal, regulatory, and scientific professionals regarding international food law issues;
  • Be familiar and comfortable with the use of Internet-based resources including electronic information transfer, online research, electronic instruction, and content delivery;
  • Understand the history of the evolution of food regulation in different regions of the world;
  • Be able to discuss in writing the differences and similarities in approaches to food regulation;
  • Understand global perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in the international food trade, including the steps being taken towards international harmonization;
  • Understand critical domestic and international regulatory issues and their impact on food laws as illustrated by case studies.  

This course is offered fall and spring semesters.

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