Commonwealth Trade Hot Topics

The Trade Hot Topics series provides concise and informative analyses of various trade and trade-related issues which are prepared both by Commonwealth Secretariat and international experts.


The WTO GMO Dispute

The United States (US) announced on 13 May 2003 its request for WTO consultations with the European Communities (EC) on certain measures taken by the EC that affect the trade in genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The European Commission dismissed the US’s claim as ‘legally unwarranted, economically unfounded and politically unhelpful’.

This issue of Trade Hot Topics provides background to the WTO GMO dispute and outlines some of its implications for developing countries. In addition, it considers a few issues on the periphery of the dispute, namely, the EC’s proposed new labelling and traceability regulations; recent decisions of the Codex Alimentarius; and the coming into force of the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety.


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