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The Role of International Agreements in Achieving Food Security: How Many Lawyers Does It Take to Feed a Village?

Posted by on Friday, August 10, 2012 in Articles, Vol. 40 No. 4, Volume 40, Volumes.

This Article discusses how international agreements impact the ability of science and technology to enhance food security.  International agreements, domestic laws, and regulations have the power to promote scientific research and the adoption of new technology through effective, efficient, and predictable science-based regulatory systems, or to impede development and adoption of new technology by miring it in burdensome or unnecessary regulations.  This Article examines the disparate impacts of international agreements on food security through a case study of agricultural biotechnology.  In particular, the Article looks at the principles and guidelines for risk assessment developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity.  The Article concludes that agreements related to biosafety and sustainable development may have impacts beyond their stated objectives that can negatively impact efforts to achieve food security.  By ensuring that a wider range of interests are considered in the development of these agreements, the final agreements will better reflect the economic and social realities of all the parties.

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