Feast or Famine: The Impact of the WTO Decision Favoring the U.S. Biotechnology Industry in the EU Ban of Genetically Modified Foods
Debra M. Strauss
Fairfield University - Charles F. Dolan School of Business
American Business Law Journal, Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. 775-826, 2008
In the ongoing controversy on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food, the divergent regulatory responses to scientific uncertainty and the unknown risks have reached a crescendo in the form of an international trade dispute. In May 2003, the United States, Argentina, and Canada filed a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the European Union (EU) over its five-year moratorium on approving crops improved through biotechnology, challenging the ban on the grounds that it is an impediment to trade. In a decision that has been much anticipated for its potential impact on international trade and the biotechnology industry, the WTO issued preliminary findings in February 7 and a final decision on May 10, 2006 that appear to favor the U.S. position. This article analyzes the WTO ruling, including its limitations and the areas the WTO dispute panel did not address, and the reactions of the European Community as well as the United States. The ramifications of the current dispute between the United States and EU are explored in the context of both international trade and its implications for long-term U.S. and international law in the area of GMOs.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 52
Keywords: international trade, international law, GMOs, food and drug law, WTO, biotechnology, genetic engineering, genetically modified organisms, bioengineering
Date posted: November 28, 2008 ; Last revised: November 25, 2014