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Overview of the Legislation Regarding Traceability and Authenticity of Foods of Plant Origin in EU, USA, Canada, Australia-New Zealand


Apr 06, 2022

Food traceability existed before the first publication of international regulations on food safety and certainly from the middle ages when human poisoning was first reported. Traceability was at the focus of the interest of lawyers in the case of the European scandal of mad cow disease in 1996 and has been regulated in Europe via the regulation 178/2002. After this administrative, political, scientific and consumer scandal, food traceability became an issue worldwide and many countries adopted different levels of legislation to regulate it. The Codex Alimentarius defined Traceability as “the ability to follow the movement of a food through specified stage(s) of production, processing and distribution”, while ISO defined traceability as the “ability to trace the history, application or location of an entity by means of recorded identifications. Different laws have been published by developed countries, which depend on the level of controls implemented by each one of them, while it is still difficult to find relevant legislation in developing countries. In all cases, the legislative texts aim at protecting the population against a possible food crisis and creating the tools that allow the withdrawl of undesirable food from the market.

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