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Was Food Safety Declining?: Assessing the Justification for the US Food Safety Modernisation Act


  • Nakuja, Tekuni
  • Kerr, William A.


Food safety regulations limit trade in bioproducts. Every country, however, has a duty to protect its citizens from food safety hazards. If risks are increasing under an existing food safety system then a strengthening of the regulatory regime can be justified, with the inevitable negative impacts on international trade. Alternatively, raising food safety standards may simply be undertaken for reasons of economic protection The US has recently enacted new food safety regulations under the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) on the basis that foodborne diseases associated with domestic and imported food were on the rise. An assessment of the official justification of the FSMA is undertaken through an examination of trends in foodborne disease incidence. The results show that while the incidence of disease have increased over recent years, suggesting legitimate reasons for concern, some of the FSMA’s provisions may violate WTO commitments designed to constrain economic protectionism.

Suggested Citation

  • Nakuja, Tekuni & Kerr, William A., 2013. "Was Food Safety Declining?: Assessing the Justification for the US Food Safety Modernisation Act," Commissioned Papers 145969, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:catpcp:145969

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William A. Kerr & Jill E. Hobbs, 2002. "The North American-European Union Dispute Over Beef Produced Using Growth Hormones: A Major Test for the New International Trade Regime," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(2), pages 283-296, February.
    2. William A. Kerr, 2010. "What is New in Protectionism? Consumers, Cranks, and Captives," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 58(1), pages 5-22, March.
    3. Nakuja, Tekuni & Akhand, M. & Hobbs, Jill E. & Kerr, William A., 2011. "The New Food Safety Regime in the US: How Will it Affect Canadian Competitiveness," Commissioned Papers 116847, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.
    4. Nicholas Perdikis & William A. Kerr Shelburne & Jill E. Hobbs, 2001. "Reforming the WTO to Defuse Potential Trade Conflicts in Genetically Modified Goods," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 379-398, March.
    5. Jean C. Buzby & Donna Roberts, 2010. "Food Trade and Food Safety Violations: What Can We Learn From Import Refusal Data?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 560-565.
    6. Kerr, William A., 2004. "Sanitary Barriers And International Trade Governance Issues For The Nafta Beef Market," Keeping the Borders Open; Proceedings of the 8th Agricultural and Food Policy Systems Information Workshop - 2002 16918, Farm Foundation, Agricultural and Food Policy Systems Information Workshops.
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