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International Agricultural Law and Policy

A Rights-Based Approach to Food Security

Hope Johnson

Globalised agriculture and food systems are at the crux of significant issues facing humanity from the rise in diet-related diseases to water pollution and biodiversity loss. Yet, legal scholarship on the regulation of agriculture and food is only now emerging. This timely book provides the first systematic analysis of the public international rules influencing agriculture. Each chapter considers the regulatory instruments that intersect with different components of agricultural systems from land tenure and soils through to agricultural in-puts and trade.
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Chapter 8: World trade

Hope Johnson


A book regarding the international regulation of agriculture would not be complete without considering agricultural trade law. Trade agreements affect how and where agriculture is carried out, the methods and inputs used, the income of farmers, the food choices of consumers, and the types of regulatory measures states can take. For these reasons, this chapter focuses on agricultural trade law. In doing so, it blurs the artificial distinction made in this book between agriculture and other food system activities such as distribution. The first two sections of the chapter draw out the complex relationship between trade and food security to explore the components agricultural trade agreements require to be consistent with a rights-based approach to agricultural regulation for food security. Following this is an analysis of the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Agriculture in terms of its practical implications and substantive provisions. Drawing the discussions together, this chapter concludes with comprehensive, ambitious reform recommendations.

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