The coproduction of the global regulatory regime for food safety standards and the limits of a technocratic ethos
Title: The coproduction of the global regulatory regime for food safety standards and the limits of a technocratic ethos
Author: ARCURI, Alessandra
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2014/97; Global Governance Programme-131; Global Economics
Several socio-legal scholars have studied how the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) was empowered by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and how, under this transition, its standards became quasi-binding. What has gone less studied is how the WTO has transformed the very modus operandi of Codex. In particular, it has been argued that the WTO has infused Codex with a technocratic ethos. Building on this scholarship, this article investigates the dynamic relationship between the WTO and Codex and the evolving role of expert knowledge in the global regime for food safety standards. The article’s main thesis is that technocracy (as the rule of the knowers) is an unsustainable regulatory paradigm in the field of global food safety standards, as evidenced by the controversial ractopamine case, discussed in the article. The article concludes by arguing that the global food safety regime is turning towards a paradigm that marries science with democratic values.
Subject: World trade organization; Sanitary and phitosanitary agreement; Codex alimentarius commission; Food safety standards; Risk regulation; Global technocracy
Type of Access: openAccess