Risk Assessment in the International Food Safety Policy Arena - Can the Multilateral Institutions Encourage Unbiased Outcomes?

WTO Staff Working Paper ERSD-2009-01

25 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2009

See all articles by Marion Jansen

Marion Jansen

International Trade Centre

Lee Ann Jackson

World Trade Organization (WTO)

Date Written: January 2009

Abstract

Two institutions provide multilateral venues for countries to discuss food safety measures at the international level: the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) and the World Trade Organization. Both institutions encourage their members to base food safety standards on scientific evidence.

In this paper we provide a description of how food safety related scientific evidence is generated and how it is used in the context of risk assessment for international standard-setting at CODEX and in WTO trade disputes. In particular, we discuss the processes leading to policy conclusions on the basis of scientific evidence, with a focus on the interactions involved between private and public sector actors and those between "scientific experts" and others.

We identify weaknesses in the current institutional set-up and provide suggestions on how to improve the interaction between different players at the national and international level so as to strengthen the existing system and increase its cost efficiency.

Keywords: Food safety standards, risk assessment, policy capture, Codex Alimentarius Commission, WTO

JEL Classification: F13, Q16, Q18

Suggested Citation

Jansen, Marion and Jackson, Lee Ann, Risk Assessment in the International Food Safety Policy Arena - Can the Multilateral Institutions Encourage Unbiased Outcomes? (January 2009). WTO Staff Working Paper ERSD-2009-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1344963 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1344963

Marion Jansen (Contact Author)

International Trade Centre ( email )

54-56 Rue de Montbrillant
Geneva
Switzerland

Lee Ann Jackson

World Trade Organization (WTO) ( email )

154 Rue de Lausanne
CH-1211 Geneva 21
Switzerland
41 22 739 6907 (Phone)
41 22 739 5760 (Fax)

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