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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2000 / 29_jan_biotech_agreed


29 january 2000

biosafety protocol agreed

new international agreement for genetically modified organisms

Friends of the Earth have welcomed new international rules for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) which have been agreed in Montreal, Canada. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which has taken six years to be negotiated, will regulate the international trade in genetically modified (GM) crops and foods.

The new protocol:

  • clearly allows countries to follow the precautionary principle.
  • permits countries to ban GM crops if they have sufficient concerns over their safety.
  • for the first time identifies GM foods and crops as fundamentally different to conventionally bred.

The Protocol has been accepted after fierce objections from the so-called Miami Group of countries (United Stated, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay). The six nations threatened the whole Protocol for the past ten days.

Liana Stupples of Friends of the Earth said:

"The world can breathe a sigh of relief as we've avoided meltdown in Montreal. Against the odds, we have a precautionary protocol but real consumer choice on GM foods and crops has been sacrificed along the way. However the jury is a still out on whether in practice protection of the environment is put before free trade."

"For the past week, the United States and its cronies have been holding the rest of world to ransom to protect the vested interests of a few companies. They have not succeeded and we now have a Protocol to regulate genetically modified crops and foods."



CONTACT: Adrian Bebb in Montreal
Tel: +1 514 239 4276 OR +1 514 239 4253




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