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The Cartagena Protocol On Biosafety: A Multilateral Approach To Regulate Gmos

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the relationship between the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol and relevant World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, with a view to evaluating if potential clashes between the two sets of rules could occur and how they might be resolved based on existing rules. It first provides an overview of the Biosafety Protocol, and identifies provisions of the WTO that are relevant in the context of transboundary movement of bio-engineered products. Then it analyses the Biosafety Protocol and relevant WTO rules to examine the provisions of the Biosafety Protocol relating to the precautionary principle and risk assessment and their significance for the international trading regime. The chapter also examines how potential conflicts between the WTO and the Cartagena Protocol might be addressed. Finally, it explores whether the existence of a multilateral Protocol on Biosafety might influence the interpretation of terms used in WTO provisions which leave room for contextual interpretation.

Keywords: bio-engineered products; cartagena biosafety protocol; international trading regime; World Trade Organization (WTO) rules



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