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5 - Product Regulation and Labeling Measures under the SPS and TBT Agreements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 May 2011

Benn McGrady
Affiliation:
Georgetown University, Washington DC
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Summary

Some form of product regulation is likely to play an important role in any comprehensive policy to address noncommunicable disease associated with tobacco, alcohol, or diet. The concept of product regulation encompasses a variety of measures. In some cases, product regulation may function as a means of prohibition, such as where a good is deemed by government to be too harmful to be sold lawfully. In a similar vein, product regulation may be a means of reducing the harmfulness associated with consumption of a product category, such as where the product is prohibited in its more harmful forms. Alternatively, product regulation might prohibit products from taking particular forms not because of a direct relationship between form and harmfulness, but because of the attractiveness of specific product forms to identifiable consumer groups such as children. In addition, the regulation of product packaging may play an important role in providing information to consumers or in attempts to dissuade consumption.

Examples of product regulation of the first two types can be found in the context of diet. Some Pacific Island states have banned the sale of mutton flaps and turkey tails, which are cuts of meat that are extremely high in fat and often discarded in developed countries. Similarly, a number of WTO Members are working to eliminate artificial trans fat from their food supply and to replace it with cis-unsaturated acids.

Type
Chapter
Information
Trade and Public Health
The WTO, Tobacco, Alcohol, and Diet
, pp. 170 - 214
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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