In 2003 the EU adopted new rules regulating all aspects of placing genetically modified foods on the market. The rules significantly enhance the scope of the labelling requirement in an attempt to accommodate consumer demand, but it is debatable whether or not a labelling requirement in the case of GMO related content in a food product is in fact an appropriate measure to protect consumer interests. Furthermore, the EU labelling rules may prove to be a trade obstacle causing conflict in the EU’s trade relations with third countries. The labelling rules will most likely be considered a trade barrier should they be tested under WTO law. The question is then whether or not it is deemed an illegal trade obstacle and in this assessment certain aspects of the rules contradict their justification under WTO law. The abovementioned problems call for a reconsideration of the rules. However, this needs to be considered in the light of the fact that the existing rules actually seem to satisfy the majority of the European consumers.
European Food and Feed Law Review, 2010, Vol 2010, Issue 3