Environmental and public health

We are working on the enforcement of food legislation and the implementation of EU regulations on food safety and hygiene in the UK, the regulation of the use of nanotechnologies for environmental and health protection and aspects of environmental health involving local pollution, such as noise and contaminated land.

Past projects


We lead work package two, to establish the regulatory frameworks for ‘reduction of disease risk’ claims on food and drinks), of the Reduction of Disease Risk Claims on Food and Drinks (REDICLAIM) project.

The project was co-ordinated by the Food Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre in collaboration with researchers at the Slovenian Nutrition InstituteAarhus University and the University of Ljubljana.

The project was funded by the European Union under Framework Programme 7. It started in November 2013 and was completed in October 2016.


The project sought to understand the ways in which the European Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods and associated legislation has had and continues to have an impact on the substantiation and use of ‘reduction of disease risk’ claims on food and drinks.

In particular, the project examined (a) the main issues and hurdles concerning substantiation and use of ‘reduction of disease risk’ claims on food and drinks and (b) the level of awareness about legal obligations with regard to ‘reduction of disease risk’ claims on food and drinks among the relevant stakeholders. The research produced a three-fold study of the impact of nutrition and health claims legislation specific to ‘reduction of disease risk’ claims on food and drinks on:

  1. The claim substantiation process
  2. Health research and/or innovation in the food chain
  3. Nutrition economic models to determine health impact.

Accordingly, the REDICLAIM project contributed to the development of an evidence base of the process by which health and nutrition claims are made and controlled by regulatory frameworks. In addition, it explored the effectiveness of health and nutrition claims control by regulation and establish recommendations for government, industry and the scientific community with a view to conducting the necessary research and development of such products. The aim of this was to achieve both effective compliance with better regulation and to contribute to the enhancement of innovative and competitive products.

In order to achieve these objectives, the research activities included stakeholder engagement and dissemination and the establishment of the regulatory frameworks for reduction of disease risk claims on food and drinks. Nutrition economic models were created for food constituents associated with reduction of disease risk claims. At the same time, the researchers explored the interaction between health claim legislation and health research and/or innovation in the food chain as well as the interaction between reduction of disease risk claim legislation and substantiation process.


R Malcolm (2011) Integrated product policy: products and their impact on energy, International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, 3(1), pp. 48–64.

G van Calster (2010) Nanomaterials and regulation of cosmetics, Nature Nanotechnology, Vol.5, Issue 2, pp. 92.

G van Calster (2010) For Me to Know and You to Find Out? Participatory Mechanisms, The Aarhus Convention and New Technologies, Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology, 4(2), pp. 1-34.

G van Calster (2010) Defining nanomaterials for the purpose of regulation within the European Union, European Journal of Risk Regulation, pp. 115-122.

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School of Law
Frank Whittle Building (AB)
University of Surrey