Divergences and convergences between the two systems, which regulate safety and the mutual exchange of products

"In a market that is becoming global, American and European food laws are moving closer together as consumer choices converge. Research is increasingly aimed at quality food: when you taste something, you want to savor a country, a landscape”. This was the central reflection of the seminar held by Michael T. Roberts, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Faculty of Law professor and food law expert.

The meeting, which took place on Tuesday 11 February atUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma (UCBM), was organized by prof Laura De Gara, Head of Studies in Food and Human Nutrition Sciences (SANU) of theUCBM, And from teacher. Francesco Bruno, of the University of Molise and professor of food law in the SANU Master's Degree Course of theUCBM. Legislation in the food and agronomic fields was born recently, even if it has distant origins. “In ancient Rome, as well as in the Middle Ages – Roberts said in his speech – food fraud was punished. This shows that attention to the problem has always been high”. Today, however, the areas in which a legislator moves are very different from each other and range from international trade, to the management of environmental problems (pollution, use of pesticides) or health, such as obesity, up to the criminalization of fraud .

Among other things, there is the need to create a dialogue between three worlds that speak the same thingingdifferent journey: that of consumers, that of legislators and that of scientists. A dialogue in which, obviously, companies are involved, with their economic interests, and politics, which actually makes the decisions. A communication problem that unites American and European legislation, divided, however, by cultural, political and legal differences. And to solve it, "there should be more room for collaboration”, suggested the American Professor. Another important aspect that divides American legislation from European legislation and on which, according to Roberts, it will be difficult to meet except in small steps, concerns the free market. “The US farming system is highly industrialized. At European level – explained the expert – small farms are also widespread, which among other things now export all over the world”. This means that European legislation, according to Roberts, "it will be difficult to give up the high levels of bureaucratization and the high taxation of products to open up to a truly free market, also because – he underlined – while in Europe there is a high level of food traceability, in the USA it is difficult to trace the origin or destination of those on the market”. In any case, Roberts concluded, “the consumer has the possibility to choose among thousands of products and therefore regulate the market".