Biosecurity in the Movement of Commodities as a Component of Global Food Security

Part of the Plant Pathology in the 21st Century book series (ICPP, volume 3)


Biosecurity (regulatory regimes for food safety, animal and plant health, and genetically modified organisms) results in barriers to trade. Plant pest introductions cause substantial losses; growth of trade and international travel increases the risk of new introductions. Demand for agricultural produce follows world population growth and consumption pattern changes; international agricultural trade is vital to access to food. National and international biosecurity is fragmented, although nationally consolidation occurs. International biosecurity has changed over the last 15 years: the International Plant Protection Convention, the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius (Food Safety) and the World Organization for Animal Health, set Standards for national Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures, the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement seeks to avoid arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination among countries; the Convention on Biological Diversity, its Cartagena Protocol and the Biological Weapons Convention also address aspects of biosecurity: internationally, cooperation appears, at present, to be the most promising action. Developed and a limited number of mid-income developing countries raise phytosanitary trade concerns in the WTO SPS Committee. Certain food safety measures appear to become stricter, private standards more elaborate and small farmers have difficulties in adapting. Instead many phytosanitary standards aim to reduce unjustified national measures. National plant health is often under-funded, in particular non-export components including phytosanitary protection of biodiversity and natural ecosystems. Technical assistance to developing countries remains very limited. Plant health needs expertise in identification and epidemiology. Regional cooperation is vital. Opportunities exist for international action on pest free areas and certification of laboratories. It is unlikely that effects of climate change can be considered in Pest Risk Analysis.


Biosecurity foodsecurity trade sanitary and phytosanitary measures and standards plant health food safety 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RomeItaly
  2. 2.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsRomeItaly

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