The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently issued a joint publication, Trade and Food Standards, which discusses the development of international standards and the need for additional regulations and involvement by all countries.

Currently, the global food trade is valued at $1.7 trillion.  The FAO has 188 member countries and guidelines covering almost 200 food products and more than 300 food additives.  The U.S. alone imports food from 150 countries and food products often traverse a complex supply chain to reach the U.S.

The WTO and FAO emphasized that now is the time for additional international standards due to the rise in e-commerce, new production technology, and new international trade agreements. Furthermore, the agencies have organized a partnership to advise developing countries on controlling their supply chains and inspection and certification systems.