Nutritional Regulation and International Trade in APEC Economies: The New Chilean Food Labeling Law



Rodrigo Polanco, Sofia Boza and Macarena Espinoza | Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy

In many countries, economic growth has induced a general change in eating patterns, from high rates of malnutrition, to recurrent obesity problems and other health related issues in the population. Changes to nutritional labeling regulations that are aimed at providing more information to the consumer have been part of the strategy to fight obesity. Mandatory labeling schemes constitute a technical barrier to trade (hereinafter “TBT”), which must respect the principles of the WTO TBT Agreement.

This article examines the new Chilean Food Labeling Law and the accompanying regulation in effect since 2016 which together form one of the earliest methods to mandate front-of-pack food labeling, while focusing on its compatibility with WTO law and its implications for other APEC economies. We present a review of the origin and content of the Chilean regulation and the discussion of the WTO TBT Committee, complemented with the analysis of related WTO jurisprudence and the response from the food industry.

APEC Nutrition

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