School of Law

Research Student: Ludivine Petetin

Food Safety in Modern Biotechnology: the Regulation in the EU, the US and WTO Law

The research focuses on determining the best strategies to deal with and to regulate the risk emerging from international trade in modern biotechnology products, focusing on genetically modified organisms and cloned food. It will analyse how food safety can be guaranteed and improved without impairing the liberalisation of international trade.

With the development of modern biotechnology, new risks have arisen creating public reactions. These relate to food safety and human health, and to natural resources as well as animal life.

The work will compare the EU and the US experiences in the regulation of biotechnology products, as there seem to be material differences in approach. This has given rise to a number of disputes at the WTO level, such as the Hormones or Biotech cases.

When regulating the EU and the US cannot ignore the higher level of regulation that constitutes WTO law and should act in conformity with it.

However, WTO law and food safety regulations have opposite policy objectives, in particular the fact that national food safety regulations take into account the preferences of their citizens. Therefore, there is a constant need for accommodation in this typical conflict between economic rules and non-economic interests.

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