Food Laws and Trade Agreements Affect What Is

Food Laws and Trade Agreements Affect What is on Your Plate

We all know that food is essential for survival, but have you ever stopped to think about how the food on your plate got there? From farm to fork, there are many regulations and trade agreements in place that impact the food we eat every day. In this article, we will explore how food laws and trade agreements affect what is on your plate.

Food Laws

Food laws are regulations that govern the production, distribution, and sale of food and beverages. These laws are in place to protect the consumer from foodborne illnesses and to ensure that the food we eat is safe. Food laws can vary from country to country, but they all have the same goal of safeguarding public health.

One of the most well-known food laws is the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in the United States. The FSMA was signed into law in 2011 and aims to prevent, rather than react to, foodborne illnesses. The law requires food producers to have a preventive control plan in place to identify potential hazards and take measures to prevent them. This includes implementing sanitation practices and ensuring that all employees are properly trained.

Other food laws regulate the labeling of food products, including allergen information, nutritional information, and country of origin. These regulations help consumers make informed choices about the food they eat and also protect those with food allergies.

Trade Agreements

Trade agreements are agreements between countries that set out the terms of trade between them. These agreements can impact the food we eat in several ways. One example is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was signed between the United States, Canada, and Mexico in 1994.

NAFTA eliminated many tariffs on agricultural products, making it easier and cheaper for farmers in each country to sell their products to the others. This has led to an increase in the amount of food that is imported and exported between the three countries. For example, the United States imports a significant amount of produce from Mexico, including avocados, tomatoes, and berries. NAFTA has also led to a more integrated supply chain, with products from each country being used in the production of food in the others.

However, trade agreements can also lead to concerns about food safety and quality. Critics argue that food producers in countries with lower food safety standards may be able to export their products to countries with higher standards, which could lead to foodborne illnesses. Additionally, some argue that trade agreements can lead to the industrialization of agriculture, which can have negative impacts on the environment and animal welfare.


Food laws and trade agreements play a significant role in the food we eat every day. Food laws are in place to ensure that the food we eat is safe and that we can make informed choices about what we consume. Trade agreements can impact the availability and cost of food, as well as the way it is produced. As consumers, it is essential to be aware of these regulations and their impacts on the food we eat to make informed decisions about what we put on our plates.