International Food Laws and Regulations

Course Code: FSC 810

Credits: 3 credits

This course provides an advanced introduction to international food law. After covering general concepts in global food regulation, the course covers the World Trade Organization framework of international food law, the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Agreement, the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), and the role of international food agencies, such as Codex Alimentarius, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and World Health Organization (WHO). While comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences in food laws around the world, the course develops tools for analysis of international food law and comparative analysis of food laws around the world. The course syllabus is subject to change each semester but generally covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to Global Food Law, General Concepts, and International Agencies

  • International Food Trade, Codex Alimentarius, and the Law of the WTO

  • The SPS and TBT Agreements

  • WTO Dispute Settlement Process

  • Critical Analysis, Science, and the Law

  • International Food Law and Risk Regulation

  • Overview of Food Regulation in the United States

  • Overview of Food Regulation in the European Union

  • The Comparative Law Process, Comparative Study of Food Safety Governance, Southampton Colors and Novel Foods

  • The Regulation of Genetically Modified Foods in the European Union

  • An Overview of Swiss Food Regulation

  • An Overview of Food Regulation in Latin America

  • Comparative Study in Novel Food Ingredient Approval


At the end of this course, the student will understand:

  • The general concepts in global food regulation;

  • The World Trade Organization framework of international food law, including the operation of the SPS and TBT agreements;

  • How to use Internet-based resources to locate relevant international food laws and regulations;

  • Understand the differences and similarities between international and domestic food law and regulation;

  • Be familiar with international food agencies, such as the WHO, FAO, Codex, and WTO;

  • Understand the history of the evolution of food regulation in different regions of the world;

  • Be able to discuss in writing the differences and similarities in approaches to food regulation;

  • Understand global perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in the international food trade, including the steps being taken toward international harmonization;

  • Understand critical domestic and international regulatory issues and their impact on food laws as illustrated by case studies. 


This course is offered fall and spring semesters.

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