초록 close

This paper analyzes WTO Panel's decision on European Communities-Measures affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Product. The Panel's decision of EC-Biotech case have three key implications for trade-related measures on GMOs in the future. First, the Panel concluded that the Biosafety Protocol is not applicable in the relations between the complaining parties to this dispute and the EC because America, Canada and Argentina ar not parties to the Biosafety Protocol. The Panel, in addition to, refrained from expressing a view on whether or not the precautionary principle is a recognized principle of general or customary international law. The Panel's approach showed that the WTO lacked much consideration of the concepts of mutual supportiveness in the relationship between multilateral environmental agreements and the WTO. Second, the Panel did not review whether or not EC approval legislations of GMOs are consistent with the WTO rules. However, the Panel concluded that the way of applying and operating the approval procedures set out in the EC approval legislation was inconsistent with its obligations, undertaking and completing in approval procedures without undue delay, under Article 8 and Annex of the SPS Agreement. The Panel's approach suggests that the WTO does not infringe on the right of each WTO member country to adopt nation-specific trade-related laws of GMOs but that the approval procedures have to be applied or operated in accordance with the WTO rules. Finally, the Panel recognized the right of EC Member States to take safeguard measures. However, the Panel stated, if Member could delay a final approval decision on the ground that available scientific evidence is sufficient, that Member could avoid the requirement of risk assessment set out in Annex A(4) of the SPS Agreement. The Panel's narrow interpretation of the notion of 'risk assessment' in the SPS Agreement could not show whether or not each WTO member country could take trade restrictive measures for safety on GMOs based on precautionary principle.


This paper analyzes WTO Panel's decision on European Communities-Measures affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Product. The Panel's decision of EC-Biotech case have three key implications for trade-related measures on GMOs in the future. First, the Panel concluded that the Biosafety Protocol is not applicable in the relations between the complaining parties to this dispute and the EC because America, Canada and Argentina ar not parties to the Biosafety Protocol. The Panel, in addition to, refrained from expressing a view on whether or not the precautionary principle is a recognized principle of general or customary international law. The Panel's approach showed that the WTO lacked much consideration of the concepts of mutual supportiveness in the relationship between multilateral environmental agreements and the WTO. Second, the Panel did not review whether or not EC approval legislations of GMOs are consistent with the WTO rules. However, the Panel concluded that the way of applying and operating the approval procedures set out in the EC approval legislation was inconsistent with its obligations, undertaking and completing in approval procedures without undue delay, under Article 8 and Annex of the SPS Agreement. The Panel's approach suggests that the WTO does not infringe on the right of each WTO member country to adopt nation-specific trade-related laws of GMOs but that the approval procedures have to be applied or operated in accordance with the WTO rules. Finally, the Panel recognized the right of EC Member States to take safeguard measures. However, the Panel stated, if Member could delay a final approval decision on the ground that available scientific evidence is sufficient, that Member could avoid the requirement of risk assessment set out in Annex A(4) of the SPS Agreement. The Panel's narrow interpretation of the notion of 'risk assessment' in the SPS Agreement could not show whether or not each WTO member country could take trade restrictive measures for safety on GMOs based on precautionary principle.