Food Law Digest - 4th Edition

Food Law Digest - 4th Edition October 2013
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Bird & Bird's Food & Beverages Group is pleased to present you with the 4th edition of the Food Law Digest 2013.

This edition features a series of articles highlighting new developments with regards to Food Safety and Consumer Protection: You will find out which new legal measures have been taken for the labeling of spirits in the Czech Republic after the methyl alcohol affair causing the deaths of 45 people past year, and the new case law against advertising of alcoholic beverages via social networks in France.


You can read up on the Food Safety and Food Recall System in China, and find out about the legal aspects of the Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labeling (VITAL GRID) in the Netherlands. You will also find articles concerning animal protection and the ban of ritual slaughter in Poland, how the Spanish Competition Authority have affected the tangerine sector and why the UK Intellectual Property Office rejected an application to register the shape of the Nestlé KIT KAT four-fingered chocolate bar as a three-dimensional trade mark.


We hope that we have selected a variety of interesting topics and that you will enjoy reading these informative articles. Click on the titles for more information.


Ulf Grundmann and Armand Killan
Editors and Co-Heads of the Food & Beverages Group

Food Safety & the Food Recall System in China
Ai-Leen Lim and Jennifer Shi


Food safety incidents in China have been receiving increased public and media scrutiny as it becomes a bigger and bigger player on the world stage – both as a key importer and exporter. This started with the 2008 melamine milk scandal involving a local large milk producer (where 6 babies died and affected at least 294,000 other children), and unfortunately it seems like history keeps repeating itself with the recent scandal involving contaminated infant milk formula produced by one of the world’s largest diary exporters based in New Zealand. Read more>>


Czech Republic
News from the world of Czech alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages 
Andrea Jarolimkova and Eva Bajakova

In reaction to the so called "methyl alcohol affair" causing deaths of over 45 people since August 2012 in the Czech Republic, the Chamber of Deputies agreed to a draft of the act on mandatory labelling of spirits (the "Draft") and passed it to the Senate. The Draft, applying to spirits containing more than 15% of undenatured ethanol, introduces new legal measures intended not only to fight the black market and tax evasions, but also to protect consumers. Read more>>


New case law concerning advertising of alcoholic beverages on social networks 
Alexandre Vuchot


On 3 July 2013, the Supreme Court of Appeal in France published its judgement against online advertising for alcoholic beverages via social networks. Ricard, a leading drinks company, launched an advertising campaign entitled “One Ricard, many encounters”, across the internet. It also launched a free mobile application, Ricard Mix Code, requiring a Facebook account, showing its video publicity campaign and allowing the user to collect codes which would give them access to recipes for cocktails made with Ricard, which the user could then share on their Facebook page...Read more>>



Legal aspects of VITAL Grid
Richella Soetens


With 17 million Europeans, including 600,000 Dutchmen, who suffer from one or even multiple food allergies, a good allergen management system in the food industry is of vital importance. In this respect, there is also a great need for clarity regarding the mentioning of possible cross-contamination (unintended presence) of allergens on food labels...Read more>>


Ritual slaugher discussions stopped
Krzysztof Korwin-Kossakowski 


In July Poland witnessed a stormy discussion over the planned amendment law on ritual slaughter. The amendment was constructed to allow ritual slaughter and was to adjust the Polish Animal Protection Act to Council Regulation No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing. The Council Regulation permits ritual slaughter conducted for religious purposes (animals may be killed without stunning beforehand) but each country may adopt rules ensuring more extensive protection of animals at the time of killing...Read more>>



The Spanish Competition Authority affects the tangerine sector
Carlos Maldonado

On 4 July 2013, the Spanish Competition Authority -pursuant to a complaint filed by the farmers' association "Asociación Valenciana de Agricultores" ("AVA-ASAJA")- fined Nadorcott Protection S.A.R.L. ("NPS"), Carpa Dorada S.L. ("CD") and Club de Variedades Vegetales Protegidas ("CVVP") for setting up and implementing a traceability system aimed at restringing sales of Nadorcott tangerines. Nadorcott tangerines are also known as the favoured tangerine and it is one of the most valued tangerines in the market due to the fact that it produces a large quantity of fruits per tree, it does not have seeds inside and it offers a long period of conservation on the tree and in cold-storage. Read more>> 




Chocolate Bar Wars: Cadbury v Nestlé and UK IPO v OHIM? 
Audrey Horton, Rachel Fetches, Eleanor Root, Katharine Stephens


The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has rejected an application to register the shape of the Nestlé KIT KAT four-fingered chocolate bar as a three-dimensional trade mark, in opposition proceedings brought by Cadbury. (In the matter of Application 2570766 by Société des Produits Nestlé SA and Opposition 101495 by Cadbury UK Ltd, UK Trade Marks Registry O-237-13 (Allan James), 20 June 2013). Read more>>


Contact Us


Jean-Christophe Troussel Belgium [email protected]
Ai-Leen Lim China and Hong Kong [email protected]
Andrea Jarolimkova Czech Republic [email protected]
Tom Vapaavuori Finland [email protected]
Alexandre Vuchot France [email protected]
Ulf Grundmann Germany [email protected]
Giovanni Galimberti Italy [email protected]
Armand Killan The Netherlands [email protected]
Sheena Jacobs Singapore [email protected]
Antonio Creus Spain [email protected]
David Nilsson Sweden [email protected]
Jane Mutimear UK [email protected]

The content of this update is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and should not be relied on as such. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly.


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