The production and consumption of raw-milk cheese is a politically difficult issue in Canada. These cheese varieties are heavily regulated and consumption is largely discouraged by federal food safety and health agencies. However, the regulation of these types of cheeses has been subject to a tension between Health Canada and the Province of Quebec. The case of raw-milk cheese offers insight into how authorities might try to reconcile this shared prerogative and influence policy change proposals. The opportunity to engage in international standards setting is seen here as a chance for federal level officials to assert their preferred policy outcome and attempt to reduce the discretion typically available to provinces in policy implementation. Applying a Multilevel Governance (MLG) lens, the paper characterizes how international organizations like the Codex Alimentarius can be used as tools in contexts of domestic policy conflict to circumvent shared competency between provincial and federal governments and achieve the preferred policy outcome by the level of government responsible for international negotiations.
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