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Über dieses Buch

This book offers a new and differentiated overview of Agri-Food Law against the background of national and global integration of markets, and compares for the first time important aspects of the agricultural, environmental and food law of China and Germany / the European Union. In addition to the basics, it discusses a wide range of issues, such as the respective legal regulatory structures for food security, food safety, geographical indications of origin, climate protection, fertilizers, plant protection products, genetic engineering, water protection, soil protection, land resources and organic farming. In addition, it addresses key environmental impacts and developments in order to create integrated value chains. The increasing fusion of upstream and downstream areas is becoming apparent from primary production, to the refinement and trade up level, and even to consumption. Agri-Food Law is now productively taking these important developments into account with regard to the aforementioned countries.



Chapter 1. Agri-Food Law: Term, Development, Structures, System and Framework

The term Agri-Food Law represents a generic concept and includes, firstly, Agri-Law in its divers uses, including agri-environmental law/agri-orientated natural resources law, secondly, Food Law including its various differentiations and, thirdly, the specific intersections between Agri-Law and Food Law.
Ines Härtel, Dapeng Ren

Chapter 2. Food Security and Food Safety Law

The ever growing world population (nine billion by 2050) with its simultaneous increase in longevity, places substantial demands on agricultural production, the food industry as well as on the agricultural and food trade. Added to this, are the growing middle classes in many countries in the world with changing demands and consumer preferences regarding qualitative supply and high quality food. The future central task of agriculture to provide food for a growing world population in sufficient and differentiated measure will become all the more important by reason of this increased quantitative and qualitative demand for food. Here, food security and food safety are intertwined to a high degree. From a fundamental perspective, the universal human right to food norm must be referred to. This includes the basic security of human existence with food (food security) as well as guaranteeing that no health risks emanate from food, including from drinking water (food safety).
Ines Härtel, Huajiang Yu

Chapter 3. Land Resources Law

The resource of soil is finite. It is the basis for life and nutrition of all human life. It was Rousseau who stated in his thesis about the root and the basis of inequality among human individuals that many of the worldwide conflicts occur because few people accumulate huge amounts of soil at the cost of the many. That being said, Rousseau, in principle, was not an advocate of collective property. He did, however, notice that those who have the ownership over the finite amounts of soil and water would be able to enforce power over those who, without owning the actual resources, were in need of their usage. In this context, Aristotle is of interest. According to him, there was a sound proportion of property. He vowed for a global order of economy and the law that would grant humans property as a means to the free expression of their individuality and security—the latter in the nutritional-scientific sense of food safety and food sovereignty—that would, however, not be granted as a means to unlimited growth of possession nor as a means to a way of power over others. This thesis sheds light onto whether our global and national law system of today is capable of providing a solution for the aforementioned conflict that has spanned the centuries.
Hanna Hollwitz, Shuxng Yang

Chapter 4. Genetic Resources Law

As an extensive collective term, biodiversity includes the variety of life on earth. Biodiversity comprises all the millions of different species that live on our planet, as well as the genetic differences within species. It also refers to the multitude of different ecosystems in which species form unique communities, interact with another and the air, water and soil. This part of biodiversity which is used for food, agriculture forestry and fishing or which is potentially usable, is called agrobiodiversity. Genetic resources in general are one part of biodiversity and so genetic resources for food and agriculture are one part of the agrobiodiversity. ‘Resources’ is the general term for all kinds of elements concerning material, financial and human aspects available within a certain country or region. Resources are divided into natural resources (sunlight, air, water, land, forests, grasslands, animals, mineral deposits) and social resources (human resources, information resources, and a variety of material wealth created by labour). A genetic resource is any resource of a plant, an animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity, which is in any way useful or could be useful for the people, which means any material in this context of an actual or potential value (e.g. for breeding new crops or obtaining food and raw materials). Plant and animal genetic resources for food and agriculture are irreplaceable resources for the genetic improvement of crops and livestock as well as agricultural increase and good quality. They are essential for the adaptation to unpredictable environmental changes and future human needs, so their sustainable use is of crucial importance. Food production, combating poverty and the food security of the increasing human population (by 2050 mankind will have risen to 9.6 billion people as estimated by the German Foundation for World Population) depend essentially on the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources in the field of agrobiodiversity.
Christina Flaskühler, Xinhui Yu

Chapter 5. Regulations Concerning Pesticides and Fertilizers

Plant protection products (often used synonymously with pesticides) and fertilisers play a significant role in agriculture as they help to secure and increase yields and thus safeguard the production of food. Thus the international trade in hazardous substances has increased regarding the economic uses of chemicals, pesticides and nuclear materials. On the other hand, these inputs can be a danger to human health and the environment due to the fact that they may contain hazardous chemicals or may be “subject to counterfeiting or other fraudulent practices”. Scientists admit that the impact of many chemicals on broader ecosystems is still not understood due to limited scientific knowledge about the toxicity of several hazardous substances.
Anne-Kristin Mayer, Heng Wang

Chapter 6. Water Resources Law

Water is the main source for human survival and it is also an important environmental resource for all living beings. With the rapid development of the social economy and the accelerated pace of industrialization, water pollution or water waste issues are in some regions very critical, which seriously affects the sustainable development. This article focusses only the interaction between the food security of agricultural products and the fresh land water resources. There is no united definition of fresh water throughout the world, so the definition of the UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) is assumed, which says that freshwater resources includes rivers, lakes and their tributaries, or the entrance and exit of rivers (often referred to as the drainage basin) and groundwater systems.
Elisa Aust, Clemens Wirbel, Tian Zhang

Chapter 7. Soil Protection Law

Soil is a precious natural resource, its quality is essential for achieving food security, nutrition and health, climate change adaptation and mitigation, ecosystem services, poverty reduction and livelihood security, sustainable development, etc. However multi-use soils have not actually been properly assessed as valuable resources for a long time, deducing that humanity is under threat from soil degradation and environmental pollution. Healthy soils are the foundation of food production, and also necessary for food security and sustainable development. “If humanity’s overarching need for food security and nutrition, climate change mitigation and sustainable development is to be met, soil resources have to be given the global attention they deserve,” said Achouri.
Klaus-Christian Fritzsche, Lena Jahrmarkt, Yumei Li

Chapter 8. Climate Change Law

Climate change is a global issue of common concern to the international community. Climate change concerning agriculture has especially a significant impact on global food security, but also the measures that have been taken in the context of climate change in the agricultural sector can come into conflict with food security. In recent years, with the increasing of global warming, drought, floods, reduction of agricultural land and salt-water intrusion the impact of climate change is becoming increasingly apparent. The latest research in Nature Climate Change in British reports that climate change is likely to result in losses of $2.5 trillion to global financial assets. To reduce the threat of climate change on food security, FAO proposed strategies on the one hand to improve the ability of agriculture to adapt to climate change and on the other to reduce the negative impact on global warming.
Christina Flaskühler, Yumei Li

Chapter 9. Genetically Modified Organisms Law

Within the field of conflict between the conservation of natural resources and the production of food, the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) remains subject of highly controversial discussions. On the one hand, genetic engineering allows the creation of high-yield or pest and pesticide-resistant plants and thus enables better production, even in areas with difficult agricultural conditions. On the other hand, the use of GMO in agriculture carries the risk of out crossing with natural sorts which could endanger biodiversity. Therefore, the attitude of consumers towards GMO is quiet critical—in China as well as in the European Union. This article deals with the legal system that Germany, the European Union, and China established to master this balance between the use of GMO and environmental and consumer protection within the margin set by international law.
Johanna Monien, Yuanyuan Cai

Chapter 10. Organic Farming Law

Organic products are nowadays omnipresent in Chinese and European food markets. Consumers can find a large variety of organic agricultural products and processed foods. As the world wide retail sales for these products valued about 75 billion Euros in 2015, it seems to be justified to consider organic production as sector of significant market volume.
Mathias Olbrisch, Wei Li

Chapter 11. The Right of Geographical Indications of Agricultural Products and Food

Today’s geographical indications of origin of food are the expression of a modern production of foodstuffs and of the differentiated laws related to it—especially in the European Union. As an expression of a culture of eating, they simultaneously reflect “not only eating habits, but also (open up) societal-political values and orders”. This is also reflected in legal regulations. The law does not only protect a specific form of production of food, but also social traditions, symbolic forms of coexistence and specific regional references. At the same time, there is a constant change in the conditions under which food production—and also eating culture such as legal culture—take place. Besides the social change in values, globalization, driven by mobility, media and digitization, is changing the present situation with its worldwide intertwined agricultural and food markets and the increasing interlacing of food cultures through global exchange. Integrative and disintegrative, cooperative and conflicting processes are the unmistakable consequence.
Ines Härtel, Lian Zhong


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