Case C-683/16, Deutscher Naturschutzring – stop German fishing boats scraping the bottom

Even if Article 3(1)(d) TFEU gives the EU an exclusive competence over the common fisheries policy, then can a Member State still enact laws to stop boats from bottom-trawling by virtue of EU environmental law? More

Case C-528/16, Confédération paysanne – against new herbicide-resistant plants

American fields are being planted with seeds that have benefited from new techniques of genetic engineering like gene editing. These new seeds have been modified to produce plants that will even survive being sprayed with lethal herbicides. However, French environmental groups anticipate that these new seeds will be soon imported into the EU. They fear that the EU rules on genetically modified organisms in Directive 2001/18/EC are just not able to regulate these new seeds properly. The French courts simply wonder if the EU rules contravene the EU’s ‘precautionary principle’ enshrined in Article 191(2) TFEU. More

Case C-78/16, Pesce – against an overly fastidious state combating xylella fastidiosa

Olive trees in southern Italy are being attacked by a disease that is new to the EU. The response of the Italian State has been to require a landowner with an infected tree to destroy it together with all the other plants that are theoretically capable of acting as a host to the disease within a radius of one hundred meters from the infected tree. This means the destruction of healthy plants too. A failure to comply entails fines and clearance by the State. Some Italian landowners are querying whether this scheme is compatible with EU law. They also query whether the EU legislation is itself invalid for being contrary to EU Treaty law. Fundamentally, they object to the fact that they are not being offered compensation for the loss of their trees even though they are not responsible for the spread of the disease. More

Case C-282/15, Queisser Pharma – an amino acid is not necessarily mean to human health

Queisser Pharma makes a nutritional supplement with an amino acid as one of its ingredients. The company claims that the amino acid in question presents no harm to human health. Consequently, they claim that they do not need to apply to for a licence before they can make and market their nutritional supplement. However, the general approach of German law is to ban the manufacture, processing and marketing of any food supplement containing an amino acid unless companies apply for and obtain a temporary licence. The question is: is German law’s discretionary licence scheme compatible with the EU’s Regulation 178/2002 which lays down the general principles and requirements of food law? More