Food safety and eco-labelling
regulations: A case of transatlantic
Grant E. Isaac
The conclusions of the previous case studies tend to suggest that regional trade agreements (RTAs) are generally consistent with the substantive multilateral principles governing regulatory barriers to trade and, hence, are building blocks for multilateral rules dealing with new regulatory policy issues. Yet, although this may be true for RTAs in general, it appears that specific regulatory issues such as food safety and environmental protection measures are congruent with regional arrangements for a much different reason – to protect regional regulatory approaches from either the divergent approaches of other regional arrangements or the divergent regulatory approach adopted by the multilateral system. In this sense, RTAs may be stumbling blocks for multilateral rules, either preventing their establishment or undermining their success. Consequently, they may potentially create an entrenched regulatory regionalism between developed countries with codified regulatory structures – perhaps more importantly between North America and the European Union (transatlantic regulatory regionalism) – and between developed and developing countries (North–South regulatory regionalism); that is, between the former with codified regulatory approaches and the latter where the codified regulatory approaches of developed countries may be inappropriate.
In this chapter, the propensity for food safety and environmental mea-