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Canada/EU WTO Dispute Over

The formal end of Canada’s WTO trade dispute with the European Union over genetically modified organisms (GMOs), announced July 15, will benefit the country’s canola sector, according to an official with the Canola Council of Canada.

“The Canadian government has worked really hard on this and we really appreciate all their efforts,” said JoAnne Buth, president of the Canola Council of Canada. She said the Canadian WTO case was originally brought against the EU in 2003 due to delays in getting approval for GM events in canola. Those approvals have since been made, the last coming in March 2009, said Buth. With no more applications pending, she said the dispute has now reached a formal conclusion.

Under the mutually agreed solution between Canada and the EU, officials will meet twice a year to discuss issues related to biotechnology and the trade in agriculture and agri-food products. Although the end of the WTO dispute means Canada has access to the European market current prices are unlikely to generate any European business, Buth noted.

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