The public health consequences as a result of food contamination due to Chinese industrialization are only becoming more serious. Given that I have lived in China and have friends in China, this is of deep concern. But given the large amount of Chinese food products this should be everyone’s concern. More attention need to be given to the intersection of environmental quality and public health. Recently the WSJ wrote about rice polluted by cadmium in China and the Times wrote about lead in Chinese green tea. I wrote an Op-Ed entitled "Are Food Imports from China Safe," and a more scholarly piece on the topic, now posted on SSRN, entitled, "Global Environmental Law: Food Safety & China." The Abstract:

This Article makes the case for food security law and policy as a component of global environmental law in recognition of the global economy, trade liberalization, and concerns for food safety and environmental harm. It further lays out rule of law as a significant force in mitigating food safety concerns and pollution in China. Part II explores global food safety concerns in the context of U.S.-China relations, while Part III shows how cooperative agreements are emerging in global environmental governance as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration now has an on-the-ground presence in China. Part IV shows how increased rule of law may mitigate environmental harm and food safety concerns in China. The Article concludes by making the case that increased international cooperation on traditionally domestic issues is both likely and desirable, and makes the case for increased rule of law efforts in the developing world.

The full article is available at: