TWN | 16 Décember 2015
The TPPA provides for illegal GMO contamination of our food
by Lim Li Lin and Lim Li Ching
Provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) provide for the contamination of our food supply with unapproved and illegal genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The intention of Article 2.29 on ‘Trade of Products of Modern Biotechnology’ is to ensure market access and uninterrupted trade for GMOs. The procedural actions set out within, particularly when ‘low level presence’ (LLP) occurs, are of lower standard than international norms, including the legally-binding Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. How Malaysia will implement these at the national level is now an open question, especially in the face of continued pressure by GMOexporting TPPA countries. LLP is not quantified, leaving open as to how much contamination could be permissible in each shipment. This, linked with the appropriateness of the action taken by an importing country when faced with contaminated shipments, would be subject to the TPPA’s dispute settlement procedures. The importing country’s right to reject GMOs that they have not approved, and to subject those GMOs to a prior risk assessment, could be thus effectively undermined by the TPPA.