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Publication | 18 June 2021

Microbiological Risk Assessment – Guidelines for food

Global Food and Nutrition Security

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), was established under the United Nations in 1947 as a series of international meetings at which nations would work together to reduce tariffs and other barriers to eliminate unfair and discriminatory practices in international commerce. In relation to food, the overarching principle was that export income from agricultural products was the first step in the economic development of many nations. Completion of the eighth, or ‘Uruguay round’, of GATT negotiations, in 1994, led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Importantly, the rules and disciplines of the WTO Agreements – the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreements – are designed to minimize the negative effect on trade of food safety measures that cannot objectively be justified. What this means is that scientific data and arguments and conclusions based on them, i.e. ‘science-based’ arguments, are the only basis for restrictions to international trade in foods.