Diffusion of International Food Safety Standards: Developing Country Experiences
States have regulated public health for centuries by providing public goods such as clean air, water, and food to their citizens. Governments mandate levels of quality in food to prevent poisoning and deception of their people. In the United States, public health regulation has been one of the few areas where the courts have recognized a subjugation of individual rights to the common good, beginning in 1905 in a case which found that the state has a right to vaccinate a child against his parents' wishes (Gostin 2000). Thus the study of public health regulation, and within that food safety and quality, is an important one to understanding the state. Unlike efforts in some areas to de-regulate and/or move from command-and-control to market-based regulatory instruments -- such as the areas of telecommunications and environmental issues --the trend in food safety regulation is increased regulatory attention in countries all around the world. The European Union is in the process of creating a new Food Safety Agency as part of an effort to avoid some of its recent food safety scares. The United States Department of Agriculture is under increasing pressure to conduct more microbiological inspections at food processing plants as well as to obtain statutory authority to recall tainted food, rather than the voluntary process that currently exists. And in countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, strengthening food regulatory systems is of deep interest for countries that want to increase their trade in food. Moreover, regional integration organizations and trade agreements such as the European Union, Mercosur, and the Free Trade Area of the Americas all have a component of food standards. This paper asks whether international standards for food safety and quality affect domestic policies, and if so, how. The paper is organized as follows. The first section describes the Codex Alimentarius Commission and its role in international food safety and quality standards. The second section outlines the theoretical model for thinking about diffusion of these standards and the different ways they might influence domestic policies. The next three sections briefly describe how Argentina and the Dominican Republic relate to the Codex Commission, assess the level of influence of international standards in those countries, and outline some factors that contribute to the influence of standards. The paper concludes with some thoughts about the mechanisms by which diffusion of standards occurs.
|Date of creation:||2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.sed.manchester.ac.uk/idpmEmail:
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Marc Williams, 2001. "Trade and Environment in the World Trading System: A Decade of Stalemate?," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 1-9, November.
- Andrew K. Rose, 2004.
"Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
- Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really Know that the WTO Increases Trade?," NBER Working Papers 9273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really KNow that the WTO Increases Trade?," Working Papers 182002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
- Rose, Andrew K, 2002. "Do We Really Know that the WTO Increases Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Maury E. Bredahl & Kenneth W. Forsy, 1989. "Harmonizing Phyto-sanitary and Sanitary Regulations," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 189-206, 06.
- Kindleberger, Charles P, 1983. "Standards as Public, Collective and Private Goods," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 377-96.
- Risse, Thomas, 2000. "“Let's Argue!”: Communicative Action in World Politics," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(01), pages 1-39, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:idpmcr:30661. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.