Kieffer Legal Services:
Law firm specialized in food law

We advise and represent the food industry, suppliers and distributors in matters of food law and all other legal issues related to the production and marketing of foods and beverages. Our key areas of work are:

  • Food and feed law
  • Unfair competition law
  • Intellectual property law (e.g. trademark law)
  • Agricultural law
  • Excise duties
  • Agrarrecht
  • Association law

Due to our long-standing experience, our work is characterized by legal and market expertise, speed, pragmatism and sense of proportion. We offer legal advice in all shapes and sizes, represent interests to local institutions and governmental institutions as well as and in courts and we take over legal functions being outsourced. Our utmost priority is to develop holistic advice and tailored made solutions to meet the needs of our clients.

Current Information

ECJ: an amino acid is not nescessarily a risk to health

On 19 Janary 2017 the European Court of Justice decided  whether the German legislation at issue in the main proceedings is in breach of EU law in that it, first, prohibits the use of amino acids in food in general, regardless of whether there are reasons to suspect that there is a risk to health and, second, imposes conditions on the possibility of obtaining a derogation.

The Lebensmittel- und Futtermittelgesetzbuch (German Code on foodstuffs and animal feed)  aims to protect human health by prevention measures in the private national field or to prevent a risk that these products present or may present. The referring court referred to the version of the Code published on 3 June 2013 (BGBl. 2013 I, p. 1426), as amended byParagraph 2 of the Law of 5 December 2014.

In essence the European Court of Justice ruled:

Articles 6 and 7 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety must be interpreted as precluding national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which prohibits the manufacture, processing or marketing of any food supplement containing amino acids, unless a derogation has been issued by a national authority with discretion in that respect, where that legislation is based on a risk analysis which concerns only certain amino acids, which it is for the referring court to verify. In any event, those articles must be interpreted as precluding such national legislation, where that legislation lays down that the derogations to the prohibition covered by it may only be granted for a specific period even in cases where the safety of a substance is established.

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