To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.
... TSRs may be granted special status by nation-states, or they may be an entirely private form of governance, subject to state laws about contracts, fraud, and so forth, but not the subject of any special legislation. (Busch 2011, 221) In the case of organic agriculture, public authorities-European ones in this case -occupy a central position (Winickoff and Klein 2011;Arcuri 2015). ...
... Although the EU has set up its standards 10 years earlier, the US and the EU regulatory regimes are very similar and tend to converge(Winickoff and Klein 2011;Arcuri 2015) and examples from the US might fit our demonstration in a similar way. A comparison between the two cases could certainly be an argument for another paper, but due to space constraints, we focus mainly on the global level from the EU entry point. ...
This article analyzes the institutionalization of the global organic agriculture field and sheds new light on the conventionalization debate. The institutions that shape the field form a tripartite standards regime of governance (TSR) that links standard-setting, certification, and accreditation activities, in a layering of markets for services that are additional to (and inseparable from) the market for certified organic products. At each of the three poles of the TSR, i.e., for standard-setting, certification, and accreditation, we describe how the corresponding markets were constructed over time and the role of the different actors in their evolution. We analyze the politics at stake among the actors at each pole, their competing or cooperative interests and visions, and the tensions between them in the promotion of markets. Through the lens of the TSR heuristic, we show that the institutionalization of the organic field beginning in the 1990s and its de facto inclusion in the broader sustainability field beginning in the 2000s contribute to a progressive distancing between the organic movement and its initial political project of alterity, to which public and private actors both contribute actively. As a set of interlinked market institutions, the TSR orients and narrows the scope of debate, which becomes restricted to “market-compatible” dimensions and objects. We conclude that the TSR is a promising heuristic for analyzing contemporary global regulation.
The purpose of the paper is to present the first stage of work being undertaken to develop and evaluate a maturity framework designed to assess and benchmark the effectiveness, ability to achieve continuous improvement, and optimise processes and functioning of food safety regulatory and enforcement agencies across the world.
To achieve this aim, a comparison of global food safety regulations, and Delphi-interviews with stakeholders of food safety regulatory and enforcement agencies from Australia, Canada, Ireland, and USA were carried out. Through inductive, textual data analysis, three dimensions and thirteen sub-dimensions were identified that covered cultural and systems elements influencing the quality and impact of food safety regulations across the world as well as the gaps identified by the stakeholders.
The conclusions of the paper are that whilst there is broad support by food safety regulators for developing a benchmarking and evaluation framework for food safety regulatory and enforcement agencies, there are also some outstanding challenges such as defining globally applicable measures, buy-in from specialised agencies and senior management to adopt a maturity framework to change the culture within regulatory agencies, and the role played by governments in influencing the efficiency and functioning of regulatory systems.
While more research would be required to further develop a maturity scale to assess food safety regulatory and enforcement agencies, it is concluded that evaluating the maturity of food safety regulatory and enforcement agencies (FSRA) by food safety regulators is a realistic possibility but needs to take account of some of the lessons which could be learnt from guidance frameworks with similar goals (e.g., the Food and Agriculture Organization's Food Control System Assessment Tool). Evaluation of the framework should be carried out by national agencies to develop a user-centred maturity toolkit.
The emergence of the global administrative sector and its new forms of knowledge production, expert rationality, and standardization, remains an understudied topic in science studies. Using a coproductionist theoretical framework, we argue that the mutual construction of epistemic and legal authority across international organizations has been critical for constituting and stabilizing a global regime for the regulation of food safety. The authors demonstrate how this process has also given rise to an authoritative framework for risk analysis touted as "scientifically rigorous" but embodying particular value choices regarding health, environment, and the dispensation of regulatory power. Finally, the authors trace how enrollment of the Codex Alimentarius in World Trade Law has heightened institutional dilemmas around legitimacy and credibility in science advice at the global level. Taken together, the case illustrates the importance of attending to the iterative construction of law and science in the constitution of new global administrative regimes.
Many countries, such as countries in the European Union, require that food labels announce genetically modified (GM) ingredients. The United States does not require such labeling. Which labeling policy is best? An answer must explore a complex web of topics including the science of genetic modification, the benefits of agbiotechnology, and labeling's effects on commerce. This book surveys various labeling policies and the cases for them. It is the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary treatment of the debate about labeling genetically modified food.
When polled, consumers say that they want to know whether their food contains GM ingredients, just as many want to know whether their food is natural or organic. Informing consumers is a major motivation for labeling. Consumers who want GM-free products will pay a premium to support voluntary labeling. Labeling need not be mandatory.
GM foods are tested to ensure safety and have been on the market for more than a decade. Still, many consumers, including some with food allergies, want to be cautious. Also, despite tests for environmental impact, some consumers may worry that GM crops will adversely effect the environment.
GM food currently on the market comes primarily from plants. Meat and dairy products from GM animals are under development. These new foods make the welfare of animals an issue relevant to the debate about labeling. Labeling gives consumers an important voice concerning biotechnology's application to food production.
Following the cold war, interest has grown in the possible rise of new forms of im-perial rule and in the likely role of science and technology in processes of global governance. In particular, just as the life sciences advanced the interests of bygone empires, so modern biotechnology is likely to support today's transboundary exer-cises of political, economic, and cultural power. Drawing on analyses of large-scale political and technological systems, this chapter suggests that contemporary biotech-nology may be enrolled into empire-making by several different means, including bottom-up resistance, top-down ideological imposition, administrative standardiza-tion, and consensual constitutionalism. At present, biotechnology seems more likely to increase the power of metropolitan centers of science and technology than that of people at the periphery. Institutional innovations will be needed to bring global biosciences and biotechnologies under effective democratic control.