Food Safety and Trade Liberalization in an Age of Globalization

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Overview
  • INSTITUTE:
    UNU-ISP
    PUBLISHER:
    United Nations University Press
    VOLUME:
    Policy Brief No. 6, 2008
    TITLE:
    Food Safety and Trade Liberalization in an Age of Globalization
    AUTHORS:
    by Obijiofor Aginam & Christina Hansen
    PUB DATE:
    2008•12•27
    ISSN WEB:
    1814-8026
    ISBN 13:
    978-92-808-3061-3
    COPYRIGHT:
    United Nations University
    COPYRIGHT YEAR:
    2008

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    While globalization brings opportunities for economic growth, international trade creates opportunities for the globalization of unsafe food. As trade liberalization opens the territorial boundaries of nation-states for traded goods and services, frequent and recurring instances of food contamination threaten the health, trust and confidence of consumers.

    To guarantee sustainability and social responsibility, the implementation and enforcement of food safety standards should effectively involve multiple actors: states, international organizations, the food industry, consumer groups and civil society. This would create an opportunity to balance trade and food safety concerns, enabling consumers to make informed choices.

    Today, certainty over food safety may also prevent a downturn in the volume of traded food as a consequence of staggering energy prices that discourage expensive transport. Better and broader access to systematic food safety information may be part of an answer to the quest for optimised consumer choice.