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Document Type

Article

Abstract

In August 2003, the United States, Canada, and Argentina initiated dispute settlement procedures at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the European Communities (EC) for delaying approvals of genetically modified (GM) crops within its borders. A dispute settlement panel has convened to settle this matter, European Communities-Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products (Biotech Products), and the parties began submitting written complaints in May 2004. The dispute implicates not only technical concerns about barriers to trade but also political questions about democratic participation in the design and operation of the WTO. Its resolution will have consequences for the global development of agricultural biotechnology, the democratic regulation of risks in world trade, and, not least, the WTO's very legitimacy as an institution of global governance.

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