Although import duties on many agricultural products have been dropped or waived as part of preferential trading agreements, farmers in developing countries are facing new challenges to selling their products around the world. The World Trade Organization Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement) aims to provide the balance between the right of governments to protect food safety, plant and animal health, and prevent these sanitary and phytosanitary measures from being unjustified trade barriers. Following regular discussions to ensure that developing countries fully benefit from the SPS Agreement and receive assistance in meeting their obligations, the SPS Committee has adopted a procedure whereby developing countries may request special and differential treatment, or technical assistance, in order to comply with new SPS requirements notified by other countries. Although the SPS Agreement has succeeded in bringing greater discipline to governments' use of food safety, plant and animal health requirements, other challenges remain.
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