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Trade rules on GMOs cornerstone of international meeting

01-Jun-2005

Representatives of 119 governments are expected to adopt binding rules on papers required to accompany genetically modified agricultural commodities, such as wheat, maize and soya, when they are transported across borders.

These rules will ensure that only approved GMOs enter the territory of respective parties signed up to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

 

The European Commission said it will push for documentation requirements that are "clear, meaningful, practical for both exporters and importers of agricultural products, and consistent with EU law."

 

Since 2004 and the enforcement of new legislation on the labelling of GMO's, Europe has some of the toughest laws on gene spliced commodities in the world.

 

The documentation forms the cornerstone of the agenda of the 'Second Meeting of the Parties' (MOP2) to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, taking place in Montreal, Canada this week.

 

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is the only international treaty governing the cross-border transport of genetically modified organisms and a supplementary agreement to the 1992 Convention on Biological Biodiversity.

 

The rules set out in the protocol are intended to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and protect the public from the potentially harmful effects of GMOs.

 

The protocol entered into force on 11 September 2003 and currently has 119 parties, including all European member states and the European Community. The US has not signed the protocol.

 

According to the Commission, the protocol is incorporated into EU legislation through a wide range of laws. Key to this legal framework is Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms. It is supplemented by a Regulation on the transboundary movements of GMOs, which was adopted in 2003.

 

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