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The Regulatory Landscape in the EU for Dairy Products Derived from Precision Fermentation : An Analysis on the Example of Cheese

Title data

Ronchetti, Federica ; Springer, Laura ; Purnhagen, Kai:
The Regulatory Landscape in the EU for Dairy Products Derived from Precision Fermentation : An Analysis on the Example of Cheese.
Berlin : Springer , 2024
ISBN 978-3-031-49691-2

Project information

Project financing: Andere
Raps Stiftung

Abstract in another language

This report assesses the EU legal framework applicable to dairy products obtained through precision fermentation. It maps the authorisation and labelling requirements for these products to be placed on the EU market. It compares these provisions to those governing the food markets in the USA and Singapore, which are considered to be more innovation-friendly. At the time of writing, the precision-fermented dairy sector is still in the developmental phase, with only a few precision-fermented dairy alternatives available on the market, none of which are present in the EU. Regulatory uncertainty has been cited as significant obstacle for food business operators seeking to introduce alternative protein products in the EU. Our research confirms these reports, as we found that the current EU regulatory framework presents several legal uncertainties that are challenging for food business operators to overcome.
Broadly speaking, there are two authorisation frameworks applicable to dairy products obtained through precision fermentation in the EU. The choice between these frameworks depends on the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or residues thereof in the final product. If such GMOs or residues are present, the pre-market authorisation procedure is governed by the Genetically Modified Food and Feed Regulation (GMFR). If the final product does not contain any GMOs or residues, it falls under the scope of the Novel Food Regulation (NFR), and the pre-market authorisation procedure is governed accordingly. Both of these authorisation pathways entail high regulatory requirements, which can pose challenges for the development of the precision fermentation sector, particularly for start-ups and small to medium-sized enterprises. Despite the difficulty in accurately classifying products, it is crucial for food business operators to comprehend the applicable legal framework early in the product development process, given that the authorisation paths differ in their standards. Consequently, many companies operating in this sector may prefer to focus on other, more accessible markets.
In addition to for pre-market authorisation requirements, companies must address labelling issues. Food labelling shall provide a basis for consumers to make informed choices in relation to the foods they consume. The primary objective of EU food labelling law is to prevent consumer deception , making it crucial for dairy products and their animal-free alternatives, to adhere to a stringent naming law as stipulated in the Common Market Organisation and specific accompanying legislation.
Moreover, it is imperative to consider regulations regarding the use of health and nutrition claims, as well as labels such as “vegan” or “organic”, along with clean labels and other private certification schemes. Furthermore, the labelling of novel foods and genetically modified foods may necessitate mandatory information specified in the authorisation process. These labelling requirements demand close attention to ensure compliance and to provide accurate and transparent information to consumers.
Our research serves as a comprehensive guideline for food business operators involved in the production of precision-fermented dairy alternatives, aiding them in navigating the intricate European regulatory landscape. However, it is important to note that our research specifically concentrates on the legal implications directly associated with the use of precision fermentation in food production.

The marketing of the final product may entail individualized counselling on a case-by-case basis, particularly concerning the presence of additional components added to the food. As such, it is essential for companies to seek tailored guidance to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations when bringing their products to market.

Further data

Item Type: Book / Monograph
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Law
Faculties > Faculty of Life Sciences: Food, Nutrition and Health > Chair Food Law > Chair Food Law - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Kai Purnhagen
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields > Innovation and Consumer Protection
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields > Food and Health Sciences
Research Institutions > Research Units > Forschungsstelle für Deutsches und Europäisches Lebensmittelrecht
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Life Sciences: Food, Nutrition and Health
Faculties > Faculty of Life Sciences: Food, Nutrition and Health > Chair Food Law
Profile Fields
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Units
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 340 Law
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2023 07:38
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 06:56
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/86882