Adaptive regulations in food security.A gLAWcal comment on Denise Prévost "Health Protection Measures as Barriers to EU Exports to China in the Framework of the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures"

A unique aspect of food regulation is that domestic regulations may specifically affect a foreign corporation or entity if the regulated food product is one that they sell. Referred to as ex ante effects, these regulations are put into force, without the participation or consideration of the foreign corporation who will have real harm done to their participation in the markets. These SPS measures are often considered as burdensome, since they are often expensive and time consuming to ensure that they are abided by. It may be necessary to put greater consideration on the efficacy of the SPS measure, beyond whether it will just simply produce a “safer” food product for the market. The goal of the measures should be lauded, the balance of the confidence on the global food market is often precariously set upon ensuring that there are no scares in consumer confidence. Additionally, with the volume of trading in the food market, there has to be a renewed version of transparency introduced. When a system must both be transparent, and the requirements for being on top of the regulations is excessively burdensome, it may be easier to just be less than transparent. This ultimately, is a worse outcome for the confidence of the global food supply, and would necessitate that a balance be placed on the actual cost of abiding by the regulation, with the relative cost of safety provided by adhering to these regulations.