Food safety and its impact on domestic and export markets

Peter Davies, BVSc, PhD

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The issue of food safety in the United States has been fomented in recent years by highly publicized outbreaks of foodborne disease. These outbreaks have stimulated revision of Federal regulations for food inspection in packing plants, and spawned consumer groups advocating the control of foodborne pathogens in animal production systems. The United States has recently become a net exporter of pork, and quality assurance of product is becoming a focus of competition in export markets. This paper examines historic and current controversies over Trichinella and United States pork exports to Europe in the 19th century, bovine spongioform encephalopathy in the United Kingdom, Escherichia coli O157:H7 in the United States, and organochlorine residues in Australian beef to illustrate the profound effects that perceptions of food safety can have on consumer attitudes, government regulations, and market access. The implications of the United States HACCP/Pathogen Reduction Act of July 1996, recent international agreements promoting free trade (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade [GATT], North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA]), and implementation of quality assurance programs by leading pork-exporting nations are discussed in the context of industry competition in domestic and international markets.

Keywords: food safety, trade, market, domestic, international

RIS citationCite as: Davies P. Food safety and its impact on domestic and export markets. J Swine Health Prod 1997;5(1):13-20.

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