Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 15 (4):337-356 (2002)
|Abstract||The UN Cartagena Protocol onBiosafety adopted in Montreal, 29 January, 2000and opened for signature in Nairobi, 15–26 May,2000 will exert a profound effect oninternational trade in genetically modifiedorganisms (GMOs) and their products. In thispaper, the potential effects of variousarticles of the Protocol on international tradein GMOs are analyzed. Based on the presentstatus of imports of GMOs and domestic researchand development of biotechnology in China,likely trends in imports of foreign GM food andrelated products after China accedes to WTO isexplored. Also, China's potentialcountermeasures to control and regulate importsof GMOs in line with implementation of theProtocol are discussed. China, in recent times,has increased its food and agricultural importssubstantially from USA and Canada. Chinaimported soybean 10.42 mill. tons in 2000 andabout 15 mill tons in 2001, of which majorityare from USA where GM soybean accounts for60%. The plantation of US Monsanto'stransgenic Bt cotton was increased to more than1 million ha in China in 2001. Though China haspaid great attention to develop biotechnology,it appears to have little scope to export GMOsand GM products. So China may consider a rangeof administrative measures to implement theCartagena Protocol and to regulate its importof GMOs and GM agricultural products.Consequently, the Regulation on Safety ofAgri-GMOs was issued on June, 2001 and followedthree detailed rules issued in Jan. of 2002,with a priority to limit foreign GMOs importingby safety certification and labeling system.These were outlined taking into accountpolicies adopted in Western countries such asgreen barriers to international trade.|
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