Precaution and labelling at the heart of UN biosafety Protocol

After five years of negotiations, 133 countries met in Montreal at the end of January to agree a new UN treaty governing the safe transfer, handling and use of living genetically modified organisms (LMOs). 1 The Protocol establishes a system to inform importing countries about GM shipments before they arrive, incorporates the precautionary principle, and introduces labelling requirements. But its relationship with international trade rules remains unclear.

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