26 October 2000
Africa to loose out over food safety
AFRICAN countries will lose some 483 million in exports because they can not meet European food safety standards, a new study by World Bank researchers has claimed.
According to a report in the Financial Times, differing standards in the amount of aflatoxins allowed in food will reduce exports of cereals, dried fruit and nuts from nine African countries by 64%.
Aflatoxin is a fungus type substance whose presence in food has been linked to liver cancer.
The study, one of the first to have investigated the effects of health standards on trade, raise questions about the European “precautionary principle” approach to food safety.
The paper emphasises the cost of such regulations can be high, especially for poor countries trying to reach rich markets.
- Financial Times page 13