The SPS Agreement within the Framework of WTO Law. The Rough Guide to the Agreement’s Applicability
Title: The SPS Agreement within the Framework of WTO Law. The Rough Guide to the Agreement’s Applicability
Author: GRUSZCZYNSKI, Lukasz
Citation: The Icfai University Journal of International Business Law, 2008, 7, 4, 9-32
This paper highlights some of the deficiencies in the WTO-DSB-Panel's analysis of EC-Bio Products. These include lack of consistency in the use of interpretative tools as well as over reliance on the dictionary meaning of terms. The Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) cover all relevant laws, decrees, regulating requirements, procedures relating to the production methods, testing, inspection, certification and approval of the bio-tech products and GM plants. The panel in the EC-Biotech case made a broad interpretation to the SPS Agreement in such a way that it undermines the international environmental legal regime by subordinating its disciplines to the obligations of the SPS Agreement. The final version of the SPS Agreement was never meant to be limited only to the traditional SPS risks. The author opines that some of the concerns in the EC-Biotech case law are premature due to certain observations on environmental risks that would have been included in the scope of the SPS Agreement. The WTO members are allowed to escape such scrutiny of the SPS Agreement by following only the labeling measures and the principle of rational relationship with some limitations.
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