According to Article 7 and Annex B of the World Trade Organization(WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary(SPS) Measures, WTO members are required to notify their newly established or amended SPS measures that might affect international trade. This study analyzed SPS notifications from 1995 to 2008 to identify international trends for food safety measures. The notifications were collected from the SPS information management system and the official document distribution system of WTO. The 153 WTO members represented 37 developed countries, 84 developing countries and 32 least developed countries. The number of overall notifications was 9,820. The annual notifications increased from 198 in 1995 to 1,264 in 2008. The monthly average notifications were from 44.8 in December to 69.5 in June; however, there were no statistical differences among them. The six leading Members in terms of notification submissions were United States(U.S.), Brazil, New Zealand, Canada, European Community and Korea. Among the regular and emergency notifications, 62.7% notifications were concerned with food safety, followed by animal and plant protections. Among animal protection notifications, 54.8% were emergency situations. Of the 4,821 food safety notifications, 60.4% were from developed countries, and 39.3% were from developing countries. Measures concerning pesticide residues and risk assessments were mainly from developed countries. In contrast, 77.5% of the measures concerning zoonoses were from developing countries. However considering the numbers of developing and developed countries, the average number of measures for each country was similar. Food safety measures were mainly involved pesticide residues followed by food additives, zoonoses, new regulations, labeling. As the overall notifications, zoonosis measures were mainly emergency notifications. Measures concerning pesticide residues, food additives, zoonoses, new regulations, veterinary drugs, and labeling were submitted most often by the U.S., Korea, Albania, U.S., Australia, and U.S., respectively. Identifying the exact trends of food safety measures was complicated by a number of factors. However, WTO notifications might be useful tool in providing a general view of international trends.
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