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ealthy News Service: WTO Likely to Attempt to Force GMOs on Europe

WTO Likely to Attempt to Force GMOs on Europe

by Organic Consumers Association - 1/4/2006

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An analysis of the beef hormone and other WTO cases by the financial consulting firm Oxford Analytica concluded that WTO settlements have suffered from “Compliance problems (losers are slow to come into conformity with the rules, often for domestic reasons)…[and] outcomes that may encourage the launching of further disputes….” The beef hormone and GE food cases show that in a global market, the U.S. will have more success selling its agricultural products by focusing on providing food that global
consumers want to buy, rather than trying to shove whatever farmers produce down foreign throats regardless of consumer demand.

Finally, in addition to the dozens of countries and regions that adopted regulations on GE foods prior to the U.S. case against Europe, many more have since adopted new and/or stronger rules. This trend is increasing despite the Bush Administration hope that its WTO challenge would dissuade other countries from restricting GE food. Just a few recent examples of new global restrictions on GE foods since 2003 include:

· Ghana: In July 2005, the Food and Agriculture Minister announced that Ghana would reject the importation or cultivation of any GE food into the country. In September the Minister of Environment and Science launched the National Biosafety Framework, stating that any GE imports would have to pass through “vigorous inspections” to insure that products meet safety standards. Asia:
· India: In December 2005, India’s Food Standards authority calls for mandatory labeling, citing an Indian Council of Medical Research report finding that GE foods have the “potential to induce toxicity, transfer to gut flora or produce unintended effects leading to changes that are relevant from toxicological/nutritional perspective.”

South America:
· Venezuela: In April 2004, President Chavez declares GE crops will be prohibited in Venezuela.

· Switzerland: In November 2005, a nationwide referendum calling for a five year moratorium on GE crops passes with over 55% support.


Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming WTO decision, European and global resistance to GE foods will continue. The Bush Administration aggression on gene altered food can only further isolate the U.S. in the world community, as farmers, consumers, and environmentalists worldwide have rejected this risky new food technology, in favor of sustainable food production that truly serves people’s needs.

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Provided by Organic Consumers Association on 1/4/2006

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