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The GMO Dispute before the WTO: Legal Implications for the Trade and Environment Debate


  • Francesco Sindico

    (Universitat Jaume I)


USA, Canada and Argentina have challenged before the World Trade Organisation the European Communities’ (EC) denial of Genetically Modified (GM) product imports, which took place from 1998 to 2004 . Against this background, the goal of this paper is twofold. Firstly, we will determine which WTO provisions would have been violated by the EC. Secondly, we will highlight the dispute’s most important legal issues in order to see to what extent the dispute might influence the ongoing trade and environment debate. The paper concludes that the role of the precautionary principle in the application of the EC legislation is one of the dispute’s main issues. Furthermore, the Panel findings on the legal nature of the precautionary principle, and on its relevance for the interpretation of WTO provisions, will finally determine the influence of the GMO dispute on the trade and environment debate.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Sindico, 2005. "The GMO Dispute before the WTO: Legal Implications for the Trade and Environment Debate," Working Papers 2005.11, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Goyal, Sanjeev & Joshi, Sumit, 2003. "Networks of collaboration in oligopoly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 57-85, April.
    2. Francis Bloch, 1995. "Endogenous Structures of Association in Oligopolies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 537-556, Autumn.
    3. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni, 2004. "Job contact networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 191-206, March.
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    More about this item


    GMO; WTO; Trade; Environment;

    JEL classification:

    • Q00 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - General
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General

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