Document Type : Article


1 Ph.D. in International Law and Researcher of Medical Ethics and Law Research Center, Shahid ‎Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran‎

2 Assistant Professor of Law, Islamic Azad University, Hashtgerd Branch, Alborz,, Iran


The WTO is the main institution regulating international trade. Raising living standards and expanding trade are important goals of the WTO. On the other hand, this organization is a place for settlement of disputes that arise from states conflict of commercial interests  and in this regard, it must interpret the relevant agreements and binding instruments in an impartial manner. International trade regulations have not been enacted only to protect trade interests, but also the interests of consumers This is because the trade process of goods such as GMOs, due to the importance of maintaining public health and food safety in them, requires a balance between trade and consumer interests, in other words, economic considerations of exporting countries and social considerations of importing countries. The problem is that by applying the provisions of WTO agreements to the trade of GMOs on one hand, and other international and domestic instruments on the other, disputes have arisen between the trading parties, which has led to legal challenges. This paper, using a descriptive-analytical method, attemts to explain these challenges in the WTO normative and procedural system, and to provide solutions to the said challenges.


Main Subjects

  1. English

    1. A) Books
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    8. Zarrilli, S. (2006). International Trade in GMOs: Legal Frameworks and Developing Country Concerns, in: Biotechnology and International Law. Ed by Francesco Francioni and Tullio Scovazzi, HART Publishing.


    1. B) Articles
    2. Ansari, A. Nik Ahmad Kamal, N. (2008). Biosafety Protocol, SPS Agreement and Export and Import Control of LMOs/GMOs.Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, 7(2), 139-170.
    3. Bartels, L. (2001). Applicable Law in WTO Dispute Settlement Proceedings. Journal of World Trade,35(2), 499-519.
    4. Blakeney, M. (2013). Food Labelling and International Trade. International Trade Law and Regulation, 19)1(, 14-24.
    5. Goodarzi, M. Sheikhi, M. Shabani, M. (2017). Commercialization Process of Biopharmaceuticals Development. International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology, 8)4(, 289.292.
    6. Halford, N. G., (2019). Legislation Governing Genetically Modified and Genome-Edited Crops in Europe: The Need for Change. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 99)1(, 8-12.
    7. Hilf, M., (2001). Power, rules and principles - which orientation for WTO/GATT law?. Journal of International Economic Law, 4)1(, 111-130.
    8. Joly, Y. Wahnon, F. Knoppers, B. (2007). Impact of the Commercialization of Biotechnology Research on the Communication of Research Results: North American Perspective. Harvard Health Policy Review, 8)1(, 46-60.
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    10. Ludlow, K. (2016). Consistency of Assessment of Socio-Economic Considerations under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety with Other International Obligations. The Estey Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, 17)2(, 137-172.
    11. Mercado, C. A. C. (2018). Erring on the Side of Precaution: An Assessment of the Application of the Precautionary Principle in International Trade Law. Ateneo Law Journal, 62, 988.1034.
    12. Pauwelyn, J. (2001). The Role of Public International Law in the WTO: How Far Can We Go?. American Journal of International Law, 95, 535-578.
    13. Ujj, O. (2016). European and American Views on Genetically Modified Foods. The New Atlantis, 49, 77-92.


    1. D) Documents & Reports
    2. China – Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products, Report of the Panel, (2009) WT/DS363/R.
    3. Council Directive 90/220/EEC of 23 April 1990 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms. Official Journal L 117, 08/05/1990.
    4. European Communities - Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products- Reports of the Panel, (2006), WTO Docs WT/DS291/R; WT/DS292/R; WT/DS293/R.
    5. European Communities – Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products, Reports of the Panel, (2006), WT/DS291/R, WT/DS292/R, WT/DS293/R.
    6. European Communities – Measures Prohibiting the Importation and Marketing of Seal Products, Reports of the Appellate Body, (2014), WT/DS400/AB/R & WT/DS401/AB/R.
    7. Indonesia – Importation of Horticultural Products, Animals and Animal Products, Report of the Panel, (2016) WT/DS477/R & WT/DS478/R.
    8. International Law on Biotechnology, The Hague Conference, Resolution No: 5/2010.
    9. Japanese Measures on Imports of Leather, GATT Panel (1984), Report BISD/31S/94.
    10. OECD, Safety Evaluation of Foods Derived by Modern Biotechnology: Concepts and Principles, (1993), Paris.
    11. Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September (2003) on genetically modified food and feed, Official Journal L 268, And Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September (2003) concerning the traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms and the traceability of food and feed products produced from genetically modified organisms, taking effect from April 2004.
    12. United States – Measures Affecting the Cross-Border Supply of Gambling and Betting Services, Report of the Panel, (2004), WT/DS285/R
    13. WTO Report of the Appellate Body, Brazil - Measures Affecting Imports of Retreaded Tyres, (2007), WT/DS332/AB/R.
    14. WTO/WHO, WTO Agreements and Public Health, (2002), A Joint Study by the WHO and the WTO Secretariat.{Available at:}


    1. E) Websites


    References In Persian:

    1. A) Books
    2. Fateminezhad, s. (2018). World Trade Organization and International Human Rights. Tehran: Mizan Publishing (In Persian).
    3. Mirmohammadi, M. (2018). The Light of International Law on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Teharn: Khorsandy Publishing (In Persian).