Due to various worries from many EU members, EU hasn’t allowed any genetically modified organism (In US, GMO is called biotechnology product.) to come onto EU market since October 1998.
US, Canada and Argentina presented a formal negotiation petition to EU on May 20, 2003, considering EU measures on influencing approval and marketing of biotechnology products had violated Article 2, 5, 7, 8 and Annex B and C of SPS Agreement, Article I, III, X and XI of GATT1994, Article 4 of Agriculture Agreement, and Article 2 and 5 of TBT Agreement. On June 19, US and Argentina jointly held negotiations with EU. On June 25, Canada held negotiations with EU. But they didn’t come to an agreement on the issues they concerned. Therefore, on August 8, US, Canada and Argentina respectively petitioned WTO Dispute Settlement Body to establish an expert group to settle EU measures on influencing approval and marketing of biotechnology products.
On April 21, 2004, US, Canada and Argentina submitted their first written statement to WTO Dispute Settlement Body, describing case facts and providing relevant jural analysis. On May 17, EU will also submit the first written statement. As the third party of this case, China will present the first written statement on May 24, declaring China’s stands on this case and providing relevant jural analysis.
On May 8, 2004, a meeting on studying “US, Canada and Argentina’s Accusation against EU GM Measures” was held in Ministry of Commerce. It was presided over by Department of Regulations/Ministry of Commerce. People from Department of Technology and Education/Ministry of Agriculture, Department of World Trade, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Foreign Trade/Ministry of Commerce, and Biosafety Office/SEPA attended this meeting.