International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss


Trade and Environment at the Crossroads: Evolution of the International Governance of Biosafety
Selcan Serdaroğlu

Since its entry into force in 2003, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety raises debate and controversy, even among signatory countries. The difficulties of risk assessment on biodiversity and human health, disparities in institutional capacity, uncertainty regarding the definition of liability and redress for the damage caused by the transboundary movement of living modified organisms (LMOs) are the most visible controversies. Two other related issues, but less explicit, are added to this chart: first, the relevance of an agreement combining environmental principles and trade provisions and second, the fact that the agreement may be used as a non-tariff barrier or any instrument of anticompetitive behaviour by the non-Parties, producers and exporters of LMOs. After the COP-MOP 5 held in Nagoya in October 2010, especially with the adoption of the Suppelementary Protocol on Liability and Redress, the international governance of biosafety still advance in the direction of a hybrid approach between environmental conservation and trade issues, with more emphasis on the role of the companies, the progressively generalized acceptance of biotechnological risks on biodiversity and the need for intervention measures.

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