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The Two Layers of Food Safety and GMOs in the Hungarian Agricultural Law

Authors: Gergely Horváth


The study presents the complexity of food safety dividing it into two layers. Beyond the basic layer of requirements, there is a more demanding higher level linked with quality and purity aspects. It would be important to give special prominence to both layers, given that massive illnesses are caused by foods even though officially licensed. Then the study discusses an exciting safety challenge stemming from the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Furthermore, it features legal case examples that illustrate how certain liability questions are solved or not yet decided in connection with the production of genetically modified crops. In addition, a special kind of land grabbing, more precisely land grabbing from non-GMO farming systems can also be noticed as well as a new phenomenon eroding food sovereignty. Coexistence, the state where organic, conventional, and GM farming systems are standing alongside each other is an unsuitable experiment that cannot be successful, because of biophysical reasons (such as cross-pollination). Agricultural and environmental lawyers both try to find the optimal solution. Agri-environmental measures are introduced as a special subfield of law maintaining also food safety. The important steps of agri-environmental legislation are aiming at the protection of natural values, the environmental media and strengthening food safety as well, practically the quality of agricultural products intended for human consumption. The major findings of the study focus on searching for the appropriate approach capable of solving the security and safety problems of food production. The most interesting concepts of the Hungarian national and EU food law legislation are analyzed in more detail with descriptive, analytic and comparative methods.

Keywords: Food law, food safety, food security, GMO, agri-environmental measures.

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