WTO and food labelling laws

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From: Ernest N. Prabhakar (ernest@alumni.caltech.edu)
Date: Tue Jan 25 2000 - 22:06:56 PST

This is actually a distinct question (point of fact, not value or
semantics), so I figured I'd split the thread.

> In this case, forcing the individual consumers to make the decision ---
> and prohibiting them from requiring labeling so they can make the
> decision without spending ten hours a month --- is definitely
> undemocratic.

Does the WTO forbid *labelling* of food? Or just the banning of it?

When wearing my free market hat (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and alternate
Saturdays), I argue that the only true social sin is restricting a) choices
and b) information. If the WTO makes it harder for consumers to make
informed choices, then I'd say they were doing a Bad Thing (though I might
still argue the standardization analogy).

Conversely, what if the WTO said you couldn't ban product, but allowed full
labeling. Would that meet with your approval?

Ernest N. Prabhakar, Ph.D.

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