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Regulating functional foods in the European Union: informed choice versus consumer protection? (Special issue: Ethics as a dimension of agrifood policy: selected papers from the 4th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics)

By T. Klompenhouwer, H. van den Belt

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Abstract

This paper reviews the experiences of the Netherlands and the UK with their attempts at self-regulation in order to judge the merits and weaknesses of the newly proposed European regulation for functional foods. It is indicated that a new EU regulation covering health claims and other claims on food and drink products is on the docks. A basic motive of legal regulation of labelling and advertising is to inform and protect the consumer. Promotion of informed choice and consumer protection may, however, be conflicting objectives. A further problem springs from the fact that choice, like consent, is a propositional attitude. Thus it is argued that it is difficult for regulators to fasten on particular formulations of claims. Despite the professed respect for the autonomy of the consumer, paternalism is still a challenge.

Date 2003
Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 16
Issue 6
Pages 545-556
ISBN/ISSN 1187-7863
DOI 10.1023/B:JAGE.0000004965.23608.62
Language English
Author Address Wageningen University, Postbus 9101 6700 HB Wageningen, Netherlands. Tatiana.Klompenhouwer@wur.nl Henk.vandenBelt@wur.nl
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Advertising
  2. British Isles
  3. Choice
  4. Commonwealth of Nations
  5. Consumers
  6. Decision making
  7. Developed countries
  8. Diets
  9. Europe
  10. Food distribution and marketing
  11. Food economics
  12. Foods
  13. Great Britain
  14. Health economics
  15. Labelling
  16. Labels
  17. Laws and regulations
  18. Marketing
  19. Netherlands
  20. Nutrition
  21. OECD countries
  22. peer-reviewed
  23. regulations
  24. United Kingdom
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed