Zero Tolerance for GM Flax and the Rules of Trade

14 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2014

See all articles by Crina Vija

Crina Vija

Carleton University - Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

May T. Yeung

Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade

William A. Kerr

University of Saskatchewan - College of Agriculture - Agricultural Economics

Date Written: January 2014

Abstract

Trade in genetically modified products is a longstanding and contentious issue in agricultural trade. One issue has not, as yet, received much attention. This is the mingling of unapproved GM products with conventional products. This issue is likely to gain more prominence in the future as new GM product development accelerates. Until recently, problems with mingling were largely one‐off events. Recently, however, an ongoing case of mingling has arisen – the case of Canadian GM flax in the EU. The case led to an embargo of imports from Canada and subsequently the bilateral negotiation of a protocol to allow exports to resume. The case raises a number of important issues pertaining to the objective of zero tolerance policies for GM products, the operationalisation of zero tolerance, the role of the testing industry, the design of testing regimes and the risks associated with the absence of transparency and/or international standardisation. It is concluded that mingling is a topic that is deserving of multilateral attention.

Suggested Citation

Vija, Crina and Yeung, May T. and Kerr, William A., Zero Tolerance for GM Flax and the Rules of Trade (January 2014). The World Economy, Vol. 37, Issue 1, pp. 137-150, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2378659 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/twec.12077

Crina Vija

Carleton University - Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

Ottawa, Ontario
Canada

May T. Yeung

Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade ( email )

410 22nd St East
Suite 820
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Canada

William A. Kerr

University of Saskatchewan - College of Agriculture - Agricultural Economics ( email )

51 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A8
CANADA

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