Food Sovereignty Revisited: Should the United States Reevaluate its Commitment to Free Trade in Food Products in the 21st Century?
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CitationFood Sovereignty Revisited: Should the United States Reevaluate its Commitment to Free Trade in Food Products in the 21st Century? (2002 Third Year Paper)
AbstractSince the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has worked to prevent another terrorist attack on American citizens. One possible form of attack could be intentional adulteration of the food supply. This paper examines that threat and poses the question: Should the United States reduce its commitment to free trade in food in order to protect the American public from a foodborne attack? Part I examines the likelihood of an attack on the food supply and the actions the federal government has taken thus far to prevent such an attack. Part II explores the U.S. commitment to free trade in food in the past few decades by investigating its involvement in international institutions designed to promote free trade, including GATT, the WTO, and NAFTA. Part III analyzes economic arguments for and against trade in all goods, including food. Part IV discusses the effects of trade liberalization on food safety. Part V evaluates arguments and counterarguments on the relationship between trade liberalization and food security. Finally, Part VI contains the final conclusion that the United States should continue its commitment to free trade in all goods, regardless of the possibility of an attack on the food supply. Such an attack could be prevented through other measures, especially by increasing the amount of FDA and USDA import inspectors.
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