Research in lifestyle risks is becoming more and more important, particularly with reference to what is generally known as “unhealthy diets”. The Law is now firmly established as a prominent instrument of Public Health. There are several distinctive methods of legal intervention targeted at counteracting overweight and promoting healthier lifestyles. In this paper we examine several measures that have been adopted and discuss whether Law should foster healthy diets. Our purpose is to examine the threats of falling into a paternalistic attitude when devising any regulatory intervention aimed at promoting a healthier lifestyle.
The centralised authorisation of GMOs in the European Union (EU) has received considerable academic attention in recent years, partly due to the fact that Member States have not been able to agree on authorisation decisions in the comitology committee. As a consequence, these authorisations are given by the European Commission. These decisions are invariably in favour of authorisation despite the fact that Member States had been divided on this issue. Apart from the on-going discussions on a possible reform of the GMO authorisation (allowing for national restrictions or prohibitions), the new comitology rules brought about by the Lisbon Treaty are of equal importance as they might affect the authorisation of GMOs. In this article we discuss some of the changes to comitology and present empirical material on the first authorisation decisions after the entering into force of the new comitology rules. By drawing on delegation theory we will argue that, for the time being, the level of politicisation of GMO authorisation is unlikely to change.
In this article a synthesis of formal models for the economic interpretation of the precautionary principle is presented, with their virtualities, limitations and measures to overcome them. The concept of precaution has great relevance in environmental regulation in the European Union. On the one hand, and despite the somewhat vague nature of legislation, the interpretation of the precautionary principle has seen recent progress with the development of some economic models and their application. There is, however, a need for a regulatory framework for the implementation of this principle in environmental decision-making, i.e., to clarify concepts and management procedures that are appropriate to the nature of environmental risks. It is therefore important to know the most relevant economic approaches and models with the aim of identifying their contribution to the debate on precaution in the context of environmental risk management and discuss their practical relevance in public decision-making.