Food Law News - FAO/WHO/WTO/Codex - 2001

WTO News Item, 1 November 2001

WTO - Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Committee 31 October -1 November 2001: Committee looks at equivalence, transparency, diseases and GMOs

The SPS Committee, meeting 31 October and 1 November 2001, embarked on work under its new decision on equivalence and discussed transparency. Among the specific issues also raised were foot and mouth disease, BSE and genetically modified organisms.


Informal meetings took place before the regular meeting of the SPS Committee. These dealt with "equivalence" - governments accepting that different measures used by other governments, which provide the same level of health protection for food, animals and plants, can be equivalent to their own - and on transparency and the recommended procedures for governments to notify their SPS measures to fellow-members through the WTO.

On equivalence, the committee discussed its work programme following the adoption of the 24 October 2001 equivalence decision (see WTO news story). It agreed to continue discussing the subject in informal meetings preceding the Committee's regular meetings.

On transparency, the committee discussed a Brazilian proposal regarding measures that affect developing countries' trade. It began to review the recommended notification procedures.

Members raised many specific trade concerns, including several measures related to foot-and-mouth disease, BSE and genetically modified organisms.


Among the issues generating lengthier discussion were:



Foot and mouth, BSE, GMOs and other specific issues

Technical assistance and cooperation

The next meeting will be on 20-21 March 2002.

To go to main Food Law Index page,
click here.