European Communities – Measures affecting the approval and marketing of biotech products
This particular topic is an actual topic in the Dispute settlement body of the World Trade Organization. The main pieces of legislation that affect the course of action on this particular topic are as follows:
Articles 2.2, 2.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.5, 5.6, 7, 8, and paragraphs 1,2 and 5 of Annex B, and paragraphs 1(a), 1(b), 1(c), and 1(e) of Annex C of the SPS Agreement;
Articles 2.1, 2.2, 2.8, 2.9, 2.11, 2.12, 5.1, 5.2.1, 5.2.2, 5.2.3, 5.6 and 5.8 of the TBT Agreement;
Articles I:1, III:4, X:1, and XI:1 of the GATT 1994;
Article 4.2 of the Agreement on Agriculture.
In order for this to be a fully functioning topic in the World Trade Organization it will be important for all member states to be familiar with the GATT 1994, DSU, SPS Agreement and the TBT.
This dispute is a result of the (EC) European Communities having maintained a suspension on the approval of agricultural biotechnology products since 1998. Since the placement of certain EC approval processes many of the agricultural biotech products have still not been allowed to begin the importation of their products due to certain member states refusing to allow the printing of certification letters or things of that nature. Thus far in the W.T.O. there has been the establishment of a couple of panels, of the two that are established one is under the control of Canada and the other is being controlled by Argentina. There are many other countries that have joined the panel with the understanding that the outcome of these consultations will greatly affect these member states. There are a great number of products that are being affected by this, of these the most important or prevalent are Maize, Soya, Cotton, Canola/rape seed and Oilseed canola/rape.
The importance of this topic on the W.T.O. is of distinct measure. It has a big affect on many trade and tariff agreements as well as many agreements of agriculture. In this committee you are going to be asked to settle a dispute which in affecting the real world. It is important to make sure that you understand the materials that will come into question and are aware that you are the governing body on this particular subject. With this topic the member states in question have turned to the W.T.O. to get this dispute resolved in accordance to the rules and agreements that have been put into place by the W.T.O.