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Mar 18, 2010

WTO - EU & Argentina Settle GM Crops Trade Dispute

Europa reports that the European Union (EU) and Argentina signed an agreement in Buenos Aires on 18 March 2010 ending the 2003 suit that Argentina filed in the World Trade Organization protesting the EU’s handling of trade related to gene-engineered (GM) crops. Under the agreement, both parties agreed to bi-annual meetings to discuss trade, the exchange of information, and authorization issues related to GE products.

The terms of this agreement are similar to the ones agreed to in a similar trade dispute launched by Canada against the EU and settled on 15 July 2009.

As background in 2003, the United States, Argentina and Canada all filed trade disputes with the World Trade Organization against the European Union for its position on the trade of GM crops.  On November 2006, WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) adopted three panel reports found that the EU did violate the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement on three issues.  This included: 1) the application of a general de facto moratorium on approval of GM products from June 1999 to August 2003; 3) the existence of undue delays with respect to 23 product-specific applications (out of the 27 cases considered by the Panel); and 3) national safeguard measures introduced by 6 Member States were found not to be based on an appropriate risk assessment. Since this 2006, the US, Argentina and Canada have all been engaged in technical discussions with the European Union.

For more see: “EU and Argentina settle WTO case on Genetically Modified Organisms,” Dispute Settlement, Press Release, European Trade Commission, Europa, Brussels, 18 March 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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