Advertisement

The Limit of Regulatory Borrowing: “Cocktail Therapy” Reforms of Food Safety Law in Taiwan

  • Ching-Fu LinEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Economics, Law, and Institutions in Asia Pacific book series (ELIAP)

Abstract

The exponential increase of food safety incidents in the past two decades has heightened public criticism and distrust over government regulatory failure worldwide, which has been responded by a proliferation of reforms. Taiwan is no exception to this trend, as numerous food safety scandals have utterly struck the country, generating even more pressure for an expedient, effective, and efficient overhaul. Against such backdrop, the legislature in Taiwan has assumed massive regulatory borrowing. There have been five amendments adopted by the legislature to the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation since 2013, each of which addressed different aspects of food safety regulation. In many instances, the amendments directly and unsystematically referred to and borrowed from the regulatory approaches adopted by the United States and the European Union, arguably without adequate consideration of or adaptation to local contexts. This chapter describes this approach as “cocktail therapy” and offers an explanation that the legislature has undertaken such ad hoc regulatory borrowing to save costs and secure legitimacy. Nevertheless, this chapter points out the limit of such regulatory transplant and emphasizes that proper consideration of the local context, including social, economic, political, and cultural factors, is of significant importance in the process of regulatory borrowing. Looking forward, this chapter suggests a constructive next step for the legislative drafter to seriously consider local problems, practices, and needs when learning from a foreign legal model. Only an internationally inspired yet locally adapted regulatory reform can reap benefits from regulatory borrowing as well as reserve a fertile land for regulatory acculturation.

Keywords

Food safety Regulatory borrowing Legal transplant Taiwan Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation Food and Drug Administration 

References

  1. Ajani G (1995) By chance and prestige: legal transplants in Russia and Eastern Europe. Am J Comp L 43(1):93–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alstine V (2002) The costs of legal change. UCLA L Rev 49:789–870Google Scholar
  3. Brown CA, Jeong K-S, Poppenga RH, Puschner B, Miller DM, Ellis AE, Kang K-I, Sum S, Cistola AM (2007) Outbreaks of renal failure associated with melamine and cyanuric acid in dogs and cats in 2004 and 2007. J Vet Diagn Investig 19(5):525–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen Y-H, Fu S-C, Huang J-K, Cheng H-F, Kang J-J (2013) A review on the response and management of the plasticizer-tainted food incident in Taiwan. J Food Drug Anal 21(3):242–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cotterrell R (2001) Is there a logic of legal transplants? In: Nelkin D, Feest J (eds) Adapting legal culture. Hart Publishing, Oxford, pp 70–92Google Scholar
  6. Cover RM (1983) Nomos and narrative. Harv L Rev 97:4–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. deLisle J (1999) Lex Americana? United States legal assistance, American legal models, and legal change in the post-communist world and beyond. Univ Pa J Int Econ L 20:179–308Google Scholar
  8. Echols M (2002) Food safety and the WTO: the interplay of culture, science and technology. Kluwer Law International, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Flavor Full Food Admits Adulterating Its Edible Oil. Taipei Times (25 October 2013). http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2013/10/25/2003575318. Accessed 30 Mar 2016
  10. Global Risk 2008: A Global Risk Network Report. World Economic Forum. http://www.weforum.org/pdf/globalrisk/report2008.pdf. Accessed 30 Mar 2016
  11. Gossner CM-E, Schlundt J, Embarek PB, Hird S, Lo-Fo-Wong D, Beltran J, Teoh KN, Tritscher A (2009) The melamine incident: implications for international food and feed safety. Environ Health Perspect 117(12):1803–1808CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Guidance for Industry Codevelopment of Two or More New Investigational Drugs for Use in Combination. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM236669.pdf. Accessed 30 Mar 2016
  13. Horng D-C (2015) EU food safety institutions: lessons for Taiwan’s food safety reform. Natl Taiwan Univ L J 44:1163–1236Google Scholar
  14. Käferstein FK, Abdussalam M (1999) Food safety in the 21st century. Bull World Health Organ 77(4):347–351Google Scholar
  15. Käferstein FK, Motarjemi Y, Bettcher DW (1997) Foodborne disease control: a transnational challenge. Emerg Infect Dis 3(4):503–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kahn-Freund O (1974) On uses and misuses of comparative law. Mod L Rev 37(1):1–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Legrand P (1997) The impossibility of “legal transplants”. Maastricht J Eur Comp L 4:111–124Google Scholar
  18. Lin C-F (2011) Global food safety: exploring key elements for an international regulatory strategy. Va J Int L 51(3):637–696Google Scholar
  19. Melamine and Cyanuric Acid: Toxicity, Preliminary Risk Assessment and Guidance on Levels in Food. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/Melamine.pdf. Accessed 30 Mar 2016
  20. Miller JM (2003) A typology of legal transplants: using sociology, legal history and argentine examples to explain the transplant process. Am J Comp L 51(4):839–885CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Motarjemi Y, van Schothorst M, Käferstein F (2001) Future challenges in global harmonization of food safety legislation. Food Control 12(6):339–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Questions and Answers on Melamine. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/csr/media/faq/QAmelamine/en/. Accessed 30 Mar 2016
  23. Taiwan Food and Drug Bureau Coming Next Year. Taiwan New Economy Newsletter, (No. 101, June 2009). http://www.ey.gov.tw/Upload/RelFile/74/55192/200906121415287052 56.pdf. Accessed 30 Mar 2016
  24. Toxicological and Health Aspects of Melamine and Cyanuric Acid: Report of a WHO Expert Meeting in Collaboration with FAO, WHO/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2009/9789241597951_eng.pdf. Accessed 30 Mar 2016
  25. Tushnet M (1999) The possibilities of comparative constitutional law. Yale L J 108:1225–1309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Vivek B, Grimm PC, Chertow GM, Pao A (2009) Melamine nephrotoxicity: an emerging epidemic in an era of globalization. Kidney Int 75(8):774–779CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Watson A (1993) Legal transplants: an approach to comparative law. University of Georgia Press, GeorgiaGoogle Scholar
  28. Watson A (1996) Aspects of reception of law. Am J Comp L 55:335–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Yen Q. Firm sells waste oil as cooking oil. The China Post (5 September 2014). http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2014/09/05/416497/Firm-sells.htm. Accessed 30 Mar 2016

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Law for Science and TechnologyNational Tsing Hua UniversityHsinchuTaiwan

Personalised recommendations