|September 11, 2003, just-food.com:
The Cartagena Protocol, the international agreement to maintain biodiversity,
goes into effect today. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is designed
to protect biological diversity and human health from the potential
risks arising from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The Advanced Informed Agreement (AIA) procedure established by
the Protocol is aimed at ensuring that countries can make informed
decisions on whether to import GMOs intended for introduction into
the environment. Shipments of GMO commodities will have to fulfil
specific documentation requirements.
"The Cartagena Protocol establishes one set of basic international
rules for dealing with GMOs. It is a fundamental step towards better
global governance in the GMO field. This is badly needed to maximise
the benefits deriving from biotechnology and minimise the risks
for the environment and human health. It will contribute to increasing
public confidence in the safe management of GMOs. This Protocol
will particularly help developing countries, which often lack the
resources to assess the risks of biotechnology and make informed
choices about it," said EU Environment Commissioner Margot
"We call on more countries to ratify and implement the Cartagena
Protocol and we urge those who are not in a position to ratify to
contribute to the achievement of its objectives on a voluntary basis,"
The Protocol was adopted in January 2000 by the Member Governments
of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. 103 Parties have signed
the Cartagena Protocol and 57 have ratified it.