Socio-economic considerations in GMO decision-making: international agreements in context

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety establishes the right of Parties to take socio-economic considerations into account when deciding on imports or domestic measures relating to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). While the specifics of putting this into practice have not been fleshed out in the Protocol, it does require Parties to exercise the right in a manner consistent with their international obligations. The discussion papers compiled in this book look at how Parties to the Protocol can incorporate socio-economic considerations in GMO decision-making while remaining faithful to their obligations under other international agreements. These agreements can include not only trade treaties but also those that deal with human rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, food and agriculture, and the environment. Addressing these issues will be key to ensuring proper and consistent treatment of socio-economic considerations surrounding the impact of GMOs on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

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