A Study on the WTO/TBT Consistency of the Food Labelling Measures

A Study on the WTO/TBT Consistency of the Food Labelling Measures

 

Title
A Study on the WTO/TBT Consistency of the Food Labelling Measures
Author
Nan-Hsun Chang
Keywords
Rule of Origin, Food Labelling, Non-discrimination, Legitimate Regulatory Distinction, TBT Agreement
Abstract
Suffering from the continuous happenings of food scandals, consumers start
to pay more attention to what they eat gradually. Through the national food labelling
regulations, consumers’ right to information about food could be protected in
the domestic market. However, the implementation of any food labelling policy
involves the direct costs of printing and placing labels on food products, as well as
the indirect costs of verification and identity preservations. These costs posed on
the exporters and producers have been referred to as trade barriers to the market
access, even the food labelling were required for the purpose of consumer’s protection.
Recently, several WTO members affected by certain food labelling regulations
claimed that those kind of domestic requirements were in violation of the Articles
2.1, 2.2 and 2.4 of TBT Agreement and the WTO Panel and the Appellate Body
have made several important decisions. In these decisions, the WTO Panel and the
Appellate Body sought to reconcile legitimate regulatory interests of the Members
with various obligations to treat imported products in a non-discriminatory and not
unnecessarily trade restrictive manner. Through a consideration of the WTO juris-
prudence, this article explores these decisions and the extent to which they provide
guidance for governments, stakeholders and the public on the outcome of future
TBT cases.
Abstract Article

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