Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nation-Specific Risk Tolerance in the WTO

From the National AgLaw Center e-Newsletter:

When WTO member states seek to restrict imports on the grounds of protecting public health and safety, those restrictions must be justified under the provisions of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, one of the agreements that make up the WTO system. Recently, the WTO's dispute resolution arm considered attempts to justify restrictions on hormone-treated beef and on biotech products. In doing so, the WTO announced a standard that permits greater individuality of SPS measures among WTO members, while also ensuring a rigorous scientific review of even the most nation-specific solutions. Nation-Specific Risk Tolerance in the WTO: US-Continued Suspension of Obligations in the EC-Hormones Dispute by Alison Peck describes the SPS Agreement, discusses the important cases, and explains the decision, standard and practical effects of the ruling.

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