WTO Ruling on Biotech Products

13.07.2007

WTO Ruling on Biotech Products

The European Commission has initiated discussions with the governments of the United States, Canada and Argentina regarding the implementation of the recent WTO panel ruling in the EC – Biotech Products case. Our industries are pleased with this development. We encourage all governments involved to work together to find a practical and effective means of implementing the ruling and facilitating trade.

Therefore, we support the creation of a high-level intergovernmental group to monitor the implementation by the EU of the steps agreed by the Parties to the dispute with respect to the approvals procedure. This intergovernmental group should be led by trade officials and be composed of competent authorities from the parties.

Furthermore, we believe the panel ruling provides an opportunity for the governments concerned to begin a dialogue on the entire range of pressing trade issues associated with green biotechnology and urge those governments to take advantage of that opportunity.

We would welcome frequent meetings of the intergovernmental working group to ensure that the EU regulatory system is functioning efficiently and to monitor progress on all pending issues related to approvals in the area of agricultural biotechnology. This process may help to anticipate and alleviate potential problems and trade disruptions well in advance and work to avoid them.

The industry also recommends that the EU takes additional steps to improve the efficiency and coherence of its authorization process.

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