Review of World Economics

, Volume 146, Issue 3, pp 495–514 | Cite as

Trade impact of European measures on GMOs condemned by the WTO panel

  • Anne-Célia DisdierEmail author
  • Lionel Fontagné
Original Paper


In May 2003, the United States, Canada and Argentina launched a World Trade Organization (WTO) case against the European Union concerning its authorization regime for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The complainants challenged three types of measures: (i) an alleged general moratorium on the approval of GMOs; (ii) delays in the processing of product-specific applications; (iii) national safeguard measures adopted by certain Member States banning the marketing of certain genetically modified products. In November 2006, the WTO condemned the European regime. Using the most recent advances in gravity equation, we estimate the reduction in exports of potentially affected products from the complainants to the European Union. Export losses are calculated by product, complainant country and measure at stake. Our results tend to confirm the foundations of the dispute: the European moratorium and product-specific measures have a negative effect on trade, as do safeguard measures adopted by Germany, Italy and Greece.


International trade WTO panel Genetically modified organisms Gravity 

JEL Classification

F13 Q17 



We especially appreciate the suggestions of Harmen Lehment and an anonymous referee. We thank participants at EEA 2008 and EAAE 2008 for helpful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Kiel Institute 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INRA, UMR Economie Publique INRA-AgroParisTechParis Cedex 05France
  2. 2.Maison des Sciences EconomiquesParis School of Economics, Université Paris I and CEPIIParis Cedex 13France

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