Saturday, May 5, 2012

Anna Szajkowska PhD defense

On 19 March 2012 Anna Szajkowska defended her PhD thesis Regulating food law: Risk analysis and the precautionary principle as general principles of EU food law. It is a legal thesis with a twist of the social sciences to it. Clearly, the author combines broad practical knowledge of the functioning of the European Commission with thorough legal analysis. The promotion commision ruled: " A very good thesis and a very good defense!"

Animal cloning, nanotechnology, and genetic modifications are all examples of recent controversies around food regulation where scientific evidence occupies a central position. This book provides a fresh perspective on EU scientific food safety governance by offering a legal insight into risk analysis and the precautionary principle, positioned as general principles of EU food law.

To explain what the science-based requirement means in EU multi-level governance, this book places these principles in the legislative dynamics of the EU internal market and the meta-framework of the international trade regime established by the WTO. Numerous examples of the case-law of European Courts show implications of risk analysis and science-based food law for EU and national decision makers, as well as food businesses.

This book focuses on the crucial aspects of the risk analysis methodology. It redefines the precautionary principle and clarifies its scope of application. It analyses the extent to which non-scientific factors, such as consumers' risk perception, local traditions or ethical considerations, can be taken into account at national and EU level. This book argues that, compared to EU institutions, the autonomy allocated to national authorities is much more limited, which raises questions about the legitimacy of food safety governance in the EU.
Anna's PhD diploma is brought back home here :) :

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