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Global Food Governance

Implications of Food Safety and Quality Standards in International Trade Law


Mariela Maidana-Eletti

With increasingly globalised markets, changing consumer preferences and the steady development of technologies influencing food trade flows, safety and quality concerns have triggered the development of new forms of global (food) governance. Since its creation in 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has succeeded in providing a multilateral legal framework for the development of regulatory practices through its multiple agreements. Similarly, the continuing importance of regional and bilateral trade agreements, such as in the European Union and in Switzerland, has enhanced WTO’s accomplishments through a comprehensive and dynamic set of international rules and standards for trade. However, the changing trends in the production and distribution of food products have questioned the effectiveness of the regulatory status quo. This book addresses the legal aspects of the current global architecture for food governance, particularly with regard to the role of international standards. In doing so, this work attempts at mapping the implications of domestic food measures in international trade law.
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This book is the product of my PhD research, carried out while working part-time as a research and teaching assistant at the Department of Public and Rural Law at the University of Lucerne, School of Law, under the aegis of Prof. Roland Norer – who kindly agreed to act as my PhD supervisor.

During this academic journey, which started in late 2009 and culminated with the successful defense of the thesis in December 2014, I had the opportunity to meet many accomplished and inspiring individuals. These encounters shaped and influenced not only my legal research, but also my professional and personal outlook about the meaning of being a lawyer and becoming part of the legal academic community.

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