GENET archive

[Index][Thread]

6-Regulation: Lamy warns US it will lose if it seeks WTO ruling onGE labelling



-----------------------
genet-news mailing list
-----------------------

                                  PART I
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Lamy warns US it will lose if it seeks WTO ruling on biotech
        labelling
SOURCE: Agence France Press
        http://www.eubusiness.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=114367&d=101&h=
        240&f=56&dateformat=%25o%20%25B%20%25Y
DATE:   Jul 8, 2003

------------------- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/ -------------------


Lamy warns US it will lose if it seeks WTO ruling on biotech labelling

BRUSSELS, July 8 (AFP) - The European Union's top trade representative
warned the United States Tuesday it would fail if it went to the World
Trade Organization to challenge recent EU legislation requiring
genetically modified food to carry labels. "I would advise them (US
officials) against taking such a step for one simple reason," EU Trade
Commissioner Pascal Lamy told members of the European Parliament's
environment committee. "They have every chance of losing this case if
they go after our legislation on genetically modified organism labelling.
"The likelihood of their losing, in addition to the impact it would have
on them if they lost, would normally be something that would dissuade
them." But Lamy said he had received no indication that Washington was
changing its approach from challenging an EU moratorium on biotech food
imports to contesting the labelling legislation. The United States is
currently leading a group of a dozen countries in a WTO challenge to the
moratorium, which the EU adopted in the face of questions surrounding the
safety and environmental impact of genetically modified products. The
European Parliament last week adopted two new directives requiring foods
and animal feed to be labelled if the content of genetically modified
ingredients exceeds 0.9 percent. The EU said the labelling initiative
opened the way to a removal of the import moratorium, which has been in
place since 1999. But the US government and farmers reacted angrily to
the legislation, insisting it was unworkable and would further hinder US-
EU agricultural trade.


                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  WTO consultation over GMO's: EU reiterates its authorisation
        system is in accordance with WTO rules
SOURCE: European Commission
        http://europa.eu.int/comm/trade/issues/sectoral/agri_fish/sps_bio/
        pr270603_en.htm
DATE:   Jun 19, 2003

------------------- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/ -------------------


Sanitary, Phytosanitary and biotechnology trade issues

WTO consultation over GMO's: EU reiterates its authorisation system is in
accordance with WTO rules

Brussels, 19 June 2003 - The EU has today held consultations with the USA
and Argentina over its authorisation system for genetically modified
organisms (GMOs). During the consultations the EU has underlined its
legitimate right to establish a regulatory regime to ensure that GMOs are
only put on the market on the basis of a careful assessment of risks. It
has also stressed that all applications for marketing of GMOs are
currently being assessed on the basis of the EU regulatory regime in
place. Finally, the EU has stressed that each application is being
considered on its own merits, on the basis of the EU regulatory framework.

The consultations were carried out constructively. The EU responded to
all the questions from the USA and Argentina on both the EU regulatory
framework for GMOs and the status of pending applications for approval.

The arguments developed by the EU include the following:
- The EU, just like any WTO Member, has a legitimate right to establish a
regulatory regime to ensure that GMOs are only put on the market on the
basis of a careful assessment of risks, appropriate control and
monitoring measures, and proper information to consumers.
- All GMOs applications are being assessed on the basis of the new EU
regulatory framework which entered into place in October 2002. The
procedures are running as expected.
- Each application is and will be considered on its merits on the basis
of the EU's regulatory framework. WTO litigation would certainly not
influence this process.


Background

On 13 May 2002 the US announced its intention to request WTO
consultations with the EU over EU's authorisation system for GMOs,
together with Argentina, Canada and Egypt. It also announced that other
countries expressing support for this case by joining it as third parties
included: Australia, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, New
Zealand, Peru and Uruguay.

For transparency reasons, EU has accepted all the requests from WTO
Members wishing to participate in the consultations as third parties,
even if a number of them are not growing or exporting any GMOs.

It is however noted that:
- To date Egypt has not requested WTO consultations
- To date Honduras and El Salvador have not requested third party status;
- A number of countries such as Peru, New Zealand or Australia, maintain
in their legislation restrictions on GMOs including general moratoria on
approvals.

It is noted that the EU has approved more GMOs than any of the third
parties in the consultations.




--


GENET
European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
Kleine Wiese 6
D - 38116 Braunschweig
Germany

phone:  +49-531-5168746
fax:    +49-531-5168747
mobile: +49-162-1054755
email:  genetnl(at)xs4all.be