Regulation Food Innovation – Technical Innovation requires Regulatory Innovation
Prof Dr. Kai Purnhagen, Chair of Food Law, won a major grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Oberfrankenstiftung to advance the understanding of how food innovations are regulated in the European Union. In the spirit of Campus Kulmbach, this research project will be highly interdisciplinary, involving researchers across the social, behavioral and natural sciences. Amongst others, Dr. Laura M. König, Junior Professor of Public Health Nutrition at Campus Kulmbach, will contribute her expertise in psychology and systematic literature reviews.
The way in which we produce foods is in urgent need of transformation in order to tackle current global challenges on food safety and food security, environmental degradation and climate change, and to achieve the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN and the World Food Programme, amongst others, acknowledge that food innovations play a significant role in this transformation. Law can both facilitate and hinder innovation. For the first time, this 4 year research project will provide clear and tangible analysis whether, and how, the current legal regimes strike a balance between the protection of health, safety and the environment and innovation in the food sector. It will also include the perspective of psychology: The project team will investigate how risks and benefits of food innovations are perceived by different stakeholders, and which heuristics might influence judicial decision-making. Finally, the project will suggest new and innovative regulatory solutions, which enable innovations and protect the society from potential risks originating from those innovations.
Further collaborators are from the Hasso-Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Wageningen University, the University of Wellington in New Zealand, the European University Institute in Florence, the Raps Foundation, the European Food Safety Authority, and the Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit in Berlin.