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The Case For and Against Import Embargoes on Products of Biotechnology

Author

Listed:
  • Gaisford, James D.
  • Chui-Ha, Carol Lau

Abstract

This article examines alternative trade policy responses available to an importing country with concerns over innovations in biotechnology. Regardless of the policy response, the importing country may be worse off after a new genetically modified food (GMF) is introduced. While an import embargo may be preferable to allowing free access to unlabelled GMF imports, permitting labelled imports is typically superior to an embargo. Thus, import embargoes on products of biotechnology should not be generally allowed. The paper provides surprising support for the existing WTO provisions on Technical Barriers to Trade, but suggests significant potential problems with the recently negotiated Biosafety Protocol.

Suggested Citation

  • Gaisford, James D. & Chui-Ha, Carol Lau, 2000. "The Case For and Against Import Embargoes on Products of Biotechnology," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 1(01).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ecjilt:23832
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/23832
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Perdikis, Nicholas & Kerr, William A. & Hobbs, Jill E., 2000. "Can The Wto/Gatt Agreements On Sanitary And Phyto-Sanitary Measures And Technical Barriers To Trade Be Renegotiated To Accommodate Agricultural Biotechnology?," Proceedings:Transitions in Agbiotech: Economics of Strategy and Policy, June 24-25, 1999, Washington, D.C. 25999, Regional Research Project NE-165 Private Strategies, Public Policies, and Food System Performance.
    2. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dinopoulos, Elias & Livanis, Grigorios & West, Carol, 2010. "Country of Origin Labeling (C.O.O.L.): How cool is it?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 575-589, October.
    2. Dinopoulos, Elias & Livanis, Grigorios T. & West, Carol Taylor, 2005. "How Cool is C.O.O.L.?," Working Papers 15658, University of Florida, International Agricultural Trade and Policy Center.

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