Now an expert in European and Chinese food law and attorney-at-law at Axon Lawyers, Jasmin looks back on how the master’s specialisation Food Safety Law and Regulatory Affairs helped and supported her to get her to where she is today.
Could do you please tell us a little bit about yourself and what did you study?
"My name is Jasmin Buijs. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in law at Utrecht University and studying Chinese at Leiden University, I enrolled in the master’s programme Food Safety Law and Regulatory Affairs at Wageningen University & Research.
Already during the second year of my bachelor’s degree, I was convinced of taking this master’s degree as it seemed to be the perfect fit that combined my interests: food, law and Chinese (the latter being an optional course within the master’s programme). My studies at Wageningen University only exceeded my expectations and opened a window of new opportunities and valuable contacts."
Since you graduated, what kind of jobs did you have?
"During my studies, I performed a non-curricular internship at Axon Lawyers, a science-based law firm in Amsterdam with a focus on life sciences. It is here where I started to put food law into practice and have not left the law firm since then.
Meanwhile, I finished my studies at Wageningen University and subsequently took a master’s degree in Dutch Civil Law at Nijmegen University, which was an obligatory step to be admitted to the Bar as attorney-at-law. While my specialisation is food law, my day-to-day work also expands to the fields of pharma and medical devices legislation. At Axon, we mainly assist companies bringing their innovative products to the market, which includes regulatory advice, contract work as well as pleading in court.
To finish my studies in Wageningen, I finalized a thesis (in Wageningen) and internship (in Beijing, China). An intensive period of in-depth research and a couple of (co-)publications later, I’ve been teaching about the interesting and dynamic world of Chinese food law as part of the course Comparative Food Law at Wageningen University. I’m grateful to be part of the knowledgeable and diverse Food Law Group of Wageningen University and to contribute to the education of food law."
What choices have you made that have helped you to get where you are now?
"From food law classes to an introduction in toxicology and from food quality management schemes to the role of nutrients in foods: the courses I followed as part of the master’s programme Food Safety Law and Regulatory Affairs are all very relevant in my work as a food lawyer. One of the main values of my studies in Wageningen is that it helps me to fully understand the needs of our clients, not only from a purely legal point of view.
Moreover, the freedom, ownership and support I received during my thesis and internship helped me to further develop my interest in and knowledge of Chinese food law and encouraged me to continue my research also after graduation. I highly appreciate the support provided by the Food Law Group to follow my interest.
For example, I had the opportunity to assist start-ups related to the Wageningen incubators StartHub and StartLife, such as GreenFood50, during my studies and was supported to focus academic papers I wrote on the needs of these companies. In my experience, good ideas and own initiatives are always welcomed and there is much room to develop yourself during the studies, both professionally and personally."