The health regulation of biotech foods under the WTO agreements (N. Covelli and V. Hohots)


Nick Covelli and Viktor Hohots


International trade;Environment; Health; Science; Biotechnology; Genetically modified organisms; International trade; Precautionary principle; Public health; World Health Organisation; World Trade Organisation


Considers how World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreements concerning the protection of human health may be used in the regulation of genetically modified food. Examines: (1) the basic rights, risk assessment provisions and dispute settlement procedures contained in the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures 1994 and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade 1994, including case law such as Re European Communities (Trade Description of Sardines); (2) the scope of Member States’ obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 Art.XX(b); and (3) the international standards imposed by organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO). Comments on the points of contact between WTO agreements and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety 2000, noting the latter’s commitment to the precautionary principle.


(2003) 6(4) Journal of International Economic Law 773-795


The health regulation of biotech foods under the WTO agreements