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The paper gives an overview of the general regulatory framework relevant for the food industry in the EU and USA, as well as some information on the character of innovations in the food chain. In a second step three very innovative fields in the food industry are analysed whether the existing regulatory framework has hindering or facilitating impacts on innovations: the use of genetic engineering, health-oriented Functional Foods and organic food products. Empirical results among a survey of EU food manufacturing firms are presented which assess the current framework in the EU and its impact on innovation activities. The paper concludes with some remarks about the role of regulations for R&D and marketing of new products in the food industry.


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