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Globalization and National Sovereignty: Controlling the International Food Supply in the Age of Biotechnology


Debra M. Strauss


Fairfield University - Charles F. Dolan School of Business

Melanie C. Strauss


The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

December 20, 2009

Journal of Legal Studies in Business, Vol. 15, pp. 75-94, 2009

Abstract:     
This article examines the biotechnology industry in the area of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods through the lens of globalization and national sovereignty. Does the World Trade Organization (WTO) have the authority to compel the EU to lift GMO bans, or should another supranational organization be formed to regulate the world’s food supply as a scientific and policy-making entity? What implications does the WTO’s decision on the food trade dispute have on state sovereignty, nation-state control and regulation of its food supply, and future multilateral environmental and trade agreements? This article discusses GMO’s historic, scientific, and environmental impacts, how globalization and biotechnology have changed the world food supply, and how these developments affect free trade. In addition, it explores the regulatory reach of organizations such as the WTO, World Health Organization (WHO), and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on global food security. Finally, it analyzes the future of the biotechnology industry and GMOs, considering the impact of the WTO’s decisions on developing nations, food labeling, nation-state control and, ultimately, its own credibility.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: globalization, national sovereignty, international trade, international law, GMOs, food and drug law, WTO, biotechnology, genetic engineering, genetically modified organisms, bioengineering

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Date posted: December 22, 2009 ; Last revised: November 13, 2012

Suggested Citation

Strauss, Debra M. and Strauss, Melanie C., Globalization and National Sovereignty: Controlling the International Food Supply in the Age of Biotechnology (December 20, 2009). Journal of Legal Studies in Business, Vol. 15, pp. 75-94, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1526055

Contact Information

Debra M. Strauss (Contact Author)
Fairfield University - Charles F. Dolan School of Business ( email )
1073 N. Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824-5195
United States
203-254-4000 ext. 3160 (Phone)
Melanie C. Strauss
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania ( email )
3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States
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