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Post-Moratorium EU Regulation of Genetically Modified Products: Trade Concerns


  • Viju, Crina
  • Yeung, May T.
  • Kerr, William A.


Trade in genetically modified (GM) products remains a major issue in agricultural trade policy. In particular, the European Union has sought to deny market access to GM-products. In the wake of a WTO case brought by Canada and the US, among others, against an import ban imposed on genetically modified agricultural products by the European Union (EU) – which the EU lost – the import ban was dropped and the EU put in place a new regulatory regime for GM-products. The EU suggests that the post-moratorium regulatory regime is compliant with its WTO obligations. As of June 2011, the operation of this new import regime has not been formally assessed. The first GM-crops are just now working their way through the post-moratorium regulatory system and an assessment of the operation of the regime is timely. The results of this assessment suggest that the EU’s approval system is only partially based in science and thus is not in conformity with its SPS obligations under the WTO. Hence, the new EU regulatory regime could be challenged through a WTO Disputes panel.

Suggested Citation

  • Viju, Crina & Yeung, May T. & Kerr, William A., 2011. "Post-Moratorium EU Regulation of Genetically Modified Products: Trade Concerns," Commissioned Papers 116848, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:catpcp:116848

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicholas Perdikis & Robert Read (ed.), 2005. "The WTO and the Regulation of International Trade," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2940.
    2. Richard B. Freeman, 2004. "Trade Wars: The Exaggerated Impact of Trade in Economic Debate," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 1-23, January.
    3. Kerr, William A. & Hall, Shannon L., 2004. "Multilateral Environmental Agreements and Agriculture: Commitments, Cooperation and Conflicts," CAFRI: Current Agriculture, Food and Resource Issues, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, issue 05.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kerr, William A., 2012. "The EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement: What is on the Table for Agriculture?," 86th Annual Conference, April 16-18, 2012, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 135067, Agricultural Economics Society.
    2. Baddeley, Shane & Cheng, Peter & Wolfe, Robert, 2011. "Trade Policy Implications of Carbon Labels on Food," Commissioned Papers 122740, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.
    3. de Faria, Rosane Nunes & Wieck, Christine, 2014. "Measuring The Extent Of Gmo Asynchronous Approval Using Regulatory Dissimilarity Indices: The Case Of Maize And Soybean," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182796, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Kerr, William A. & Hobbs, Jill E., 2012. "Busy Bees, Zero Tolerance, Foregone Trade and Inhibited Investment: Can the Global Divide Over GM Foods Be Bridged?," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 125161, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Kerr, William A., 2014. "Food Security and Trade: Some Supply Conundrums for 2050," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 15(2).
    6. de Faria, Rosane Nunes & Wieck, Christine, 2015. "Empirical evidence on the trade impact of asynchronous regulatory approval of new GMO events," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 22-32.


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