Citizens' Objection: BITE BACK -- WTO HANDS OFF OUR FOOD!

To: The World Trade Organisation From: Concerned People around the World

We, wishing to protect our right to decide what we eat and grow, have serious and legitimate concerns about the risks of genetically modified foods and crops (GMOs) for consumers, farmers, wildlife and environments around the world.

By mounting this World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute the US and others are trying to force genetically modified food into the European Union and other parts of the world. They seek to prevent countries from choosing for themselves whether to permit genetically modified food and farming. They also seek to undermine our right to know and choose what we eat and farm.

If successful, this will further the interests of a small number of companies which have a financial stake in this technology at the expense of our interests as citizens around the world.

With this objection we strongly advocate that

1 it's our own right and not up to the WTO to decide what we eat and what crops we farm;

2 governments around the world have the right to develop laws to protect their environment and the well being of their citizens from the risks of genetically modified food and farming, including the right to impose a ban on such products or strict labelling requirements;

3 it is appropriate for such laws to be based on the Precautionary Principle which requires that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage then despite lack of scientific certainty it is better to act now to be safe than wait to be sorry;

4 decisions concerning regulation of international trade in GMOs should be made in accordance with the UN Biosafety Protocol and not by the World Trade Organisation.

Therefore, the WTO must

1 not deny people the right to know and choose what they eat and farm;

2 not undermine the right of the European Union and others to take appropriate steps to protect their citizens and the environment from GMO food and farming;

3 dismiss the complaints of the United States of America, Argentina and Canada.

(sign-on at web link) http://www.bite-back.org/objection/index.php

Informant: Andy Robinson


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August 2005

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