- 8th February 2006
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Friends
of the Earth Europe and Greenpeace have made the conclusions
of the WTO dispute on genetically modified organisms
public  in order to allow the whole world to engage
in the debate on the future of our food.
The groups condemned the secrecy of the WTO and called
on governments to ensure that complex health and environmental
decisions are taken in a transparent manner by bodies
qualified to do so.
"This verdict only proves that the WTO is unqualified
to deal with complex scientific and environmental issues.
They even say so themselves, claiming that 'the panel
did not examine ... whether biotech products in general
are safe or not'. The US administration and agro-chemical
companies brought the case in a desperate attempt to
force-feed markets with GMOs. But consumers, citizens
and farmers around the world do not want GMOs and this
ruling will change none of that," said Daniel Mittler,
Trade Policy Advisor at Greenpeace International.
"The WTO is keeping its draft ruling secret. This
sums up everything that is wrong with the WTO. It is
secretive, undemocratic and biased towards business
interests. The WTO should be the last institution to
decide what people eat and grow in the fields,"
said Alexandra Wandel, Trade Coordinator at Friends
of the Earth Europe.
"The WTO dispute panel is set up to view regulations
strictly in a framework designed to facilitate trade,
not to realize public or environmental health objectives,"
said Steve Suppan, Senior Trade Associate at the Institute
for Agriculture and Trade Policy. "The U.S. government
and the biotech companies may claim that the ruling
proves that GE crops are safe for human consumption
and the use of GE seeds is an environmentally beneficial
agricultural practice. But the case covers no such thing:
much less does it support the profoundly flawed U.S.
regulation of GE crops."
 The conclusions and recommendations of the WTO panel
available at: http://www.tradeobservatory.org/library.cfm?refid=78475
Backgrounders are available at: IATP: http://www.tradeobservatory.org
For further comment contact:
IATP: Ben Lilliston, IATP, +1 612-870-3416
Fiends of the Earth: Alexandra Wandel, +49 172 748 3953
Greenpeace: Daniel Mittler, +49 171 876 5345