4.4 Incorporating substantial equivalence into national and international law

The concept of substantial equivalence very quickly became important in international trade law. The WTO aims to harmonise national food standards to meet international norms. Under its rules, a country could be penalised if it imposed food standards more stringent than those agreed internationally. In this context, international food standards are set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Table 1). In 1996, a report was issued within the Codex framework, which endorsed the principle of subst
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