Understanding the Regulation of Ecological Food in China: Regulatory Intermediation, Path Dependence and Legal Pluralism

Regulatory Issues in Organic Food Safety in the Asia Pacific (eds. Goh and Price), Springer, 2019

Posted: 19 Dec 2019

See all articles by Francis Snyder

Francis Snyder

Peking University School of Transnational Law; CERIC, Aix-Marseille University; College of Europe, Bruges

Date Written: July 8, 2019

Abstract

Ensuring food safety and quality for ordinary people in China is a continuing challenge. Among the major responses to this challenge has been ecological food, which can be defined as the product of ‘ecological agriculture (shengtai nongye). Ecological food in China takes three principal forms: hazard-free food (wu gonghai, also known as ‘pollution-free’ or ‘no public harm’ food), green food (lűse shipin) and organic food (youji shipin). This chapter identifies the major factors which have shaped the regulation of ecological food in China. It first examines how these forms of ecological food have been regulated so far. It then offers a theoretical explanation for the co-existence of these forms by referring to the theories of regulatory intermediaries, path dependence and legal pluralism. The discussion shows that the distinctive Chinese pattern of regulating ecological food tends to perpetuate lack of consumer trust, domestic regulatory competition, tensions between different economic interests, and conflicts among national food policy objectives. It also suggests, however, that the Chinese model may in the short run be a useful template for many other countries seeking to improve food safety and food quality, while in the long run it appears to be consistent with current global developments in the regulation of ecological food.

Keywords: China, Food Quality, Ecological Food, Organic Food, Green Food, Regulatory Intermediary Theory (RIT), Path Dependence, Legal Pluralism

Suggested Citation

Snyder, Francis, Understanding the Regulation of Ecological Food in China: Regulatory Intermediation, Path Dependence and Legal Pluralism (July 8, 2019). Regulatory Issues in Organic Food Safety in the Asia Pacific (eds. Goh and Price), Springer, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3497137

Francis Snyder (Contact Author)

Peking University School of Transnational Law ( email )

University Town,
Xili, Nanshan District
Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055
China

CERIC, Aix-Marseille University

Faculté de Droit et de SP., 3 av. Robert Schuman
AIX-EN-PROVENCE, 13628
France

College of Europe, Bruges

Dijver 11
B-8000 Brugge, Oost Vlanderen 10000
Belgium

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