Food Security, Food Safety and Pesticides: China and the EU Compared

26 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2017

See all articles by Bruna Zolin

Bruna Zolin

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia

Matilde Cassin


Ilda Mannino

Venice International University

Date Written: February 28, 2017


To control pests that may damage crops during production, storage or transportation, chemical pesticides are usually used. On the one hand, the use of pesticides can help to reduce yield losses caused by pests, pathogens, and weeds and thereby help feed the world’s population; on the other hand, such agricultural practices can profoundly affect limited natural resources. Starting from these premises, the main objective of this paper is to explore the relationship between food security and food safety, while pointing out the role played in this relationship by pesticides, focusing on the case studies of the EU and China. To this purpose, the paper outlines the international framework on pesticides and the legal framework in the EU and China, analyzes pesticide markets, and considers the concerns related to their use. The overview of the situation in the EU and China allows us to identify challenges and opportunities for future developments in terms of food security and safety and food trade relationships between Europe and China. Tension and mutual disputes have occurred in the past due to increasing risks for consumers and workers handling pesticides, food scandals and difficulties in the mutual recognition of food quality certification schemes, which call for sustainable production methods.

Keywords: Agriculture, Sustainability, Pesticides, Integrated Pest Management, Food security, Food safety, EU, China

JEL Classification: I18, N65, O13, O53, Q15, Q18, Q24, Q25

Suggested Citation

Zolin, Bruna and Cassin, Matilde and Mannino, Ilda, Food Security, Food Safety and Pesticides: China and the EU Compared (February 28, 2017). University Ca' Foscari of Venice, Dept. of Economics Research Paper Series No. 02/WP/2017, Available at SSRN: or

Bruna Zolin (Contact Author)

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121

Matilde Cassin

Independent ( email )

Ilda Mannino

Venice International University ( email )

Isola di San Servolo

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