Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Laws




Professor Mark Perry


The Codex Alimentarius Commission is an international organisation tasked to develop global food standards. In 1993, it decided to develop standards for labelling food derived from modern biotechnology. Despite demands to discontinue its work and an inability to achieve consensus, the “Compilation of Codex texts relevant to labelling of food derived from modern biotechnology” was adopted in 2011. The Compilation accepts different approaches to labelling and comprises ten guidelines that need to be adopted in national labelling policies.

Two models of labelling are prevalent. The voluntary model of labelling allows corporations the choice to label. The mandatory model provides more precise criteria for labelling. As the Codex Alimentarius Commission aims to promote international food trade, this thesis reviews the impact of the Compilation on the above models of labelling. A comparative analysis of the voluntary labelling in Canadian to the mandatory labelling in United Kingdom is also undertaken.