Technical Capacity, Policymaking and Food Standards: An Overview of Indian Experience

Nupur Chowdhury, Sanjay Kumar

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The SPS Agreement in the WTO gives legal validity to the CODEX standards. Since the developed countries have been at the forefront of setting the food standards in the CODEX, the developing countries have been increasingly engaged in the CODEX, and also in the WTO, with an objective to increase their exports of the agricultural and food products. But such objective and desire have often been stymied by the lack of institutions which can sustain the intense technical negotiations at the CODEX. If these participations are not qualitatively satisfactory, the very objective of such participations is not fulfilled. But since most of the developing countries are lacking in such high technical capacity, they are unable to influence or qualitatively shape the negotiations in the CODEX. This also impacts their exports of agricultural and food products. India has been an active member of the WTO. But whether it has been able to influence or respond to the play of events internationally and concomitantly balance it with the domestic imperatives that are embedded in the international legal and technological regimes, institutional capacity constraints and other social issues. This paper examines such issues, and also examines some bilateral trade agreements which demonstrate the mounting pressure on the developing countries to conform to the food standards of the developed countries.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)57-77
JournalAsian Biotechnology and Development Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • SPS Agreement
  • Food safety standards
  • Technology
  • IR-78744
  • Bilateral Trade Agreements

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