When genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were put into the international trade, people in many countries, especially European countries, became skeptical of them. A…
When genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were put into the international trade, people in many countries, especially European countries, became skeptical of them. A perception developed that they are harmful to human, animal, plant life and health, and destructive to the environment. It is true that if there is no safe use of genetically modified living organisms (LMOs), other species might be affected causing loss to the environment. So as to ensure safe use of LMOs and GMOs, the Cartagena Protocol and the SPS Agreement were, respectively, made. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine both the legal instruments and to explore ways to make them co‐existent, so that human, animal, plant life and health, and the environment are protected without affecting the international trade in LMOs and GMOs.
This paper undertakes a critical examination of the issues surrounding GMOs and LMOs.
The Cartagena Protocol and the SPS Agreement serve two different purposes. It is for this reason that some of their provisions are not co‐extensive. But the conflict in them can be resolved. It is suggested that the provisions pertaining to the precautionary principle of the SPS Agreement should be brought in line with that of the Cartagena Protocol. It is also suggested that importing countries should conduct their own risk assessment preferably by following the CODEX procedure. In no case, risk assessment done by producing companies should be taken as conclusive.
If suggestions offered by the paper are followed, the two will then protect the human, animal and plant health and the environment in the best possible way.
For achieving its object, the paper presents a comparative assessment of the cases decided under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).