Food consumer protection in Germany
Consumer Policy is a task that affects many fields of life: It ranges from the protection of consumers from health threats to the protection of their economic interests. The Federal Government makes sure that the consumers´ legitimate interests are taken into consideration at an early stage in all policy fields.
In this respect, the Federal Government´s consumer policy pursues the following principles:
- preventive consumer health and safety protection and the protection of consumers´ economic interests.
- strengthening of self-determination and personal responsibility.
Enlarge image Consumer Protection in Germany (© DPA) Preventive consumer protection
Preventive consumer protection means that care is taken beforehand already to avoid possible threats to consumers´ health, safety and economic interests. Consumers must be sure that all products and services are safe to human health and do not interfere with their economic interests.
Protection against health hazards must take precedence over other, particularly economic, interests. With respect to health protection and consumer safety measures, the Federal Government is guided by the precautionary principle.
The market economy needs confident and self-determined people. Consumer information and transparency strengthen the decision-making power of the individual, promote self-determination and support competition. More and more consumers want to know where the products come from and how they were produced. Labels and stamps of quality, such as the Eco-label or the Fair Trade label, provide useful guidance in this respect.
Consumer protection does not stop at state borders. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is therefore committed to ensure - at national, Community and international levels - a high level of consumer protection and to create the framework conditions for a development taking consumer interests adequately into account.