Global GMO talks fail

25 February 1999

Global GMO talks fail

THE plan to adopt a United Nations biosafety protocol, which would regulate the international trade in genetically modified (GM) organisms, has failed.

Efforts by the European Union (EU) to save the protocol at the last minute were thwarted by the US-led Miami Group, a six-member coalition of the main GM organism producers including Canada, Argentina and Australia.

The Miami Group opposed the EU initiative on the grounds that it would harm free trade although the draft text of the protocol excluded agricultural commodities and pharmaceuticals.

Developing nations were pushing for a wide-ranging protocol which would protect biodiversity from the potential dangers of all GMOs and their derivative products.

They also sought comprehensive liability clauses from producers and the inclusion of an article covering the possible socio-economic impact of GMOs.

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