Dec 19, 2016
PSN: Other Regulation (Topic)
The Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) is a complex agreement under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and concerns the interplay between governmental measures concerning risk for human, animal and plant life or health, the necessary scientific evidence supporting such measures and the inherent uncertainty of scientific inquiries. As such, it sits at the forefront of a larger discussion that animates international trade law, ie the differentiation between protectionist measures from those that are borne out of real concern for protecting human, animal plant life or health. This debate in turn is embedded into a larger conversation in international economic law and policy circles: the delicate balance between the legitimate concerns of governments aimed at matters such as health and environmental safety as well as consumer protection on one hand and the idea of a liberal economic order that has prevailed in the aftermath of WW II, on the other.