European Union Food Laws and Regulations

FSC 812, Section 730


WELCOME to the preview for Food Regulation in the European Union,  FSC 812, Section 730.

This is a 3 credit hour, graduate level, Internet-based, college course offered by Michigan State University. The Lead Instructor for this course is Dr. David Jukes, Professor of Food Law and Food Science at the University of Reading in Reading, England.   Dr. Jukes is joined by an international faculty of food law professionals including attorneys, regulators and professors from around the European Union.  Dr. Jukes is available online to answer your questions and is available to you by email, real time chat engines, telephone or fax.   There is also a Course Manager who will be your primary contact throughout the course and will be available to help with any and all concerns regarding this course.  


The course enables students to study the factors influencing the development of food regulation in the EU. By making full use of the internet, students will gain access to relevant documentation in support of their professional needs and, having followed the course, students will be able to make an informed interpretation of the content.


On completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the role of the key institutions and related administrative bodies in the EU

  • Describe the procedure for the adoption of EU legislation

  • Access appropriate documentation on EU food law from the internet

  • Explain the impact of key judgements by the Court of Justice

  • Describe the content of EU food law in major areas (e.g. labelling, hygiene)

  • Discuss the future development of food law in the EU


The course is taught in a series of sections or ” Modules”.  Each module lasts one week and represents  a specific food law topic, issue or geographic region.  Some more comprehensive topics may require more than one week.  Each module will be uploaded on Monday morning.  You will have one week to read the materials, view the video, and complete the assignment.  Once uploaded, the Modules remain online throughout the duration of the course so you can always go back in case you miss a week or need to refer to a specific topic.  

Here’s an sample Index of the Modules in this course.  The list of courses will change with each semester.

Module One
(Week 1)
Getting Started in Web Based Courses
A gentle introduction to the technology used in the course 
Module Two
(Week 2)
OVERVIEW:  What is the EU?
The Treaty of Rome and other Treaties; the Council of Ministers, the Commission, the Directorate Generals, the European Parliament, the Court of Justice, member states; types of legislation. Use of the internet to access information on EU food Law 
Module Three
(Week 3))
Initiation of legislation, procedures for adopting legislation, qualified majority voiting, publication.  Role of the Court of Justice, course procedures, case-law, publication of decisions l
Module Four
(Week 4)
UNDERSTANDING THE EU:  Food Law History (1956-2000) 
Early diretives, harmonisation programmes, Key cases in food law; internal market programme, food safety crisis
Module Five
(Week 5)
UNDERSTANDING THE EU:  Food Law - Current Status
White Paper on Food Safety (Jan. 2000).  Issues in the discussion of the White Paper, the legislative programme, development of the new food law structure, Regulation 178/2002, arguments relating to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), current position, future outlook
Module Six
(Week 6)
UNDERSTANDING THE EU:  Official Control and Import Controls 
Early official control directives, Regulation 882/2004, inspection programmes, inspection visits, rapid alert system, food imports, veterinary inspections (EU and third countries) 
Module Seven (Week 7)

UNDERSTANDING THE EU:  National Food Control SystemsShort introductions to how some national food control systems operate in a number of different EU member states (Latvia, Ireland and the UK)

Module Eight
(Week 9)

KEY TOPICS:  Food Labeling in the EU
The Framework Directive (2000/13), key components of the Directive, miscellaneious labelling requirements from other controls

Module Nine 
(Week 10)

KEY TOPICS:  Chemicals iin Food:  Controlling Additives and Contaminants
Early controls on food additives, the Internal Market Programme, issues relating to additives, new proposals, the contaminant regulation (Regulation 194/97), current developments

Module Ten
(Week 11)
KEY TOPICS:  Food and Health
History, PARNUTS, food supplements, functional foods, health claims
Module Eleven
(Week 12)
KEY TOPICS:  HACCP and Food Hygiene in the EU
General food hygiene controls, vertical hygiene controls (meat, milk, fish, etc.), the incoproration of HACCP into EU food law
Module Twelve 
Course Review and Course Evaluation
Students have the opportunity to review all course materials and to evaluate and provide feedback on the course

Your assignments will be due the following week and can be submitted automatically using our Course Assignment Drop Box feature or by email or fax.  Grades are posted electronically and send to you by email.  Class participation is accomplished by means of synchronous and asynchronous Internet communication technologies through written Discussion Forums or a Chat Room.

So there you have it.  It should take an average of nine to twelve hours per week to complete a module.  You simply go online each week and a new module will be waiting.  Read the materials, explore the hyperlinked and other Internet-based resources, complete the assignment, upload it to the course assignment drop box, and you’re done for the week.  Now, lets be realistic.  What if you’re called out of town for a week or are otherwise unable to access or complete a module within the time limit?  No problem.  Time extensions can be granted; and if you give us a bit of notice, the course materials can be provided to you by fax or email attachment.

If you are looking for a convenient way to continue your education and you need information regarding the regulation of foods in the European Union or, if you work for a company planning an expansion into a particular EU market, this is the course for you.  

Just click here [How to Enroll] to get started. You will find a sample copy of the Application along with instructions to enroll directly online. No transcript submission is required through the Lifelong Education program.  

This course is offered fall and spring semesters.
For more information, see the Course Schedule.

This course is one of the courses comprising our International Food Law Certificate Program sponsored by the Institute for Food Laws & Regulations, the Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition, and the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources at Michigan State University. The program provides a series of region-specific, Internet-based, food law courses designed for anyone who must understand the legal and regulatory complexities of the flow of food and agricultural products across national boundaries.

The other courses in this series include our overview course, International Food Laws and Regulations, (FSC 810), Codex Alimentarius (The Food Code) (FSC 816), Animal Health, World Trade and Food Safety [OIE - World Organisation for Animal Health] (FSC 817), and our region-specific courses: Food Regulation in the United States (FSC 811), Food Regulation in Latin American (FSC 813), Food Regulation in Canada (FSC 814) and Food Regulation in Asia (FSC 815). These courses are all Internet-based and no books are required. Please see the preview for the specific course in which you are interested.