GENET archive


9-Misc: WTO ruling on EU GMO laws delayed

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  WTO Ruling On EU GMO Laws Delayed
SOURCE: American Soybean Association, Newsletter
DATE:   10 Oct 2005

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WTO Ruling On EU GMO Laws Delayed

A World Trade Organization dispute panel ruling on the EU's alleged
moratorium on market authorizations for new genetically modified products
is being put off until after the WTO's Hong Kong ministerial conference
in December. The panel has informed the EU and the three complainants in
the dispute - the United States, Argentina, and Canada - that its
preliminary ruling, which had been due October 10, will now be postponed
until the first week of January 2006. No date was given for the release
of the final ruling to the parties, although that normally takes place a
month after the preliminary findings have been issued.

The panel cited scheduling conflicts as the reason for the delay. The
chairman of the panel, Christian Haberli, is a senior negotiator on
agriculture for the Swiss government. Although the panel did not
explicitly link the delay with Hong Kong, it has been noted that the
postponement will allow the WTO to avoid having the dispute become an
issue at the ministerial conference, which is expected to be targeted by
thousands of anti-globalization protestors.

The panel, which was established back in August 2003, has been asked by
the three co-complainants to rule on what they claim is the EU's illegal
de-facto moratorium on the approval of products containing GMOs. The
three also accused Austria, France, Greece, and Italy of prohibiting the
importation and marketing of GMO products, even though those products
have already been approved for sale within the EU.


European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
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D - 38116 Braunschweig

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