This article, published in the International Environmental Law Committee Newsletter by the American Bar Association, described the relationship between the Cartagena Protocol and the WTO agreements relevant to agricultural biotechnology.
THE CARTAGENA PROTOCOL ON BIOSAFETY AND THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION
DTB Associates, LLP
The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (BSP or Protocol), a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), was adopted in January 2000 and entered into force in September 2003. As of this writing, 135 countries have ratified the BSP, and many of those countries are now considering implementing legislation. A large majority of countries that are party to the Biosafety Protocol are also members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Since several WTO Agreements contain disciplines that are relevant to trade in products of agricultural biotechnology, those countries must understand the relationship between the WTO and the BSP in order to avoid adopting legislation that violates their WTO obligations.
This article will discuss a recent WTO panel ruling on biotech products and the relationship between WTO disciplines and the BSP.