Center on Global Governance
This Essay deals with one question: If challenged, how would regulatory restrictions on genetically modified organisms ("GMOs") be judged by a World Trade Organization ("WTO") adjudicating body. Many of the controversies about the effect of WTO law on domestic regulation have been influenced by the view that the law as it stands may well impede the ability of governments to regulate new and uncertain risks to health and the environment. The result in the Beef Hormones case ("Hormones case") is often cited for this proposition. In this Essay we aim to show that, contrary to an increasingly widespread popular perception, if WTO law is properly interpreted, GMO-related measures, where non-discriminatory against other WTO Members, can pass the test of consistency with even the most stringent of relevant WTO rules.
Robert Howse & Petros C. Mavroidis,
Europe's Evolving Regulatory Strategy for GMOs – The Issue of Consistency with WTO Law: Of Kine and Brine,
Fordham Int'l L. J.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/631