The present work analyses the phenomenon of the integration of penal norms by European Union legal sources in food matters. In this regard, the Author deems necessary to distinguish between European sources contributions widening the field of application of the penal norm and contributions which narrow it. In the first case, the norm defining the offence shall apply for the future also to facts which were by then lawful, but only if the variation introduced by the European source does not alter the overall criminal blameworthiness of the fact. In the second case, on the contrary, the principle of favourable retroactivity will apply, so that the intervention of Union law norms could, depending on the case, exclude the punishment not only of facts following the adoption of the European integrating norm, but also for facts which precede it. It is without any doubt criticisable that case-law which, in food matters, excludes any retroactive effect to favourable modifications due to the penetration of European law.
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