Information Law, Consumer Information Law
The legal basis for the publication of information can be, for example, § 40 German Food and Feed Law (LFGB) or the German Consumer Information Act (VIG).
According to § 40 LFGB, the authorities are partly obliged to inform the public, e.g. if legally defined substance limits or maximum contents in products are exceeded. The same applies if food law regulations have been violated to a not insignificant extent or repeatedly and the imposition of a certain fine is to be expected.
Under the Consumer Information Act, every consumer is entitled to access official data on products as defined in the German Food and Feed Code (Lebensmittel- und Futtermittelgesetzbuch, LFGB) and on consumer products. The Consumer Information Act allows, for example, a consumer to submit a request to inspect files on the results of a food inspection at a company. The authorities must then disclose certain information from the authority files to the applicant. The authorities are bound by precise requirements in this regard, as they must also state the name or company of the product. A specific health hazard does not have to be present; the right to information can also relate to past legal violations or to areas such as the labelling, origin, nature or manufacture of products. In certain exceptional cases, information is excluded, e.g. in the case of ongoing criminal proceedings or the disclosure of trade or business secrets.