Global consumption, production, and trade of livestock products have increased rapidly in the last two decades and are expected to continue. At the same time, safety concerns regarding human and animal disease associated with livestock products are increasing. Efforts to increase public health safety standards aimed at legitimately reducing the risks of human and animal disease have focused internationally on standards to regulate the movement of livestock products. There is concern, though, that measures to regulate these standards internationally, such as the WTO SPS measures that in part aim to open international markets, may marginalize small-scale poor producers. The cycle of poverty they are trying to escape through livestock production may, in fact, widen, leading to increased global poverty, malnutrition, and disease. Developing and developed nations alike should be concerned with public and private efforts to address appropriate food safety policies to reduce the likelihood of this effect. Analysis of the impact on small-scale livestock farmers is needed, as well as solutions that consider joint public and private sector initiatives. Costly farm to table tracking systems are not an option, but locally orchestrated vertically integrated systems may have merit in reducing food safety risks and in providing small-scale farmers with increased access to markets, locally and internationally. Increased scientific and technical capacity, and training of WTO officials from developing nations is also needed.
Keywords development  food policy  food safety  international trade  Livestock Revolution  poverty alleviation  SPS measures
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-004-5183-6
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