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Implementing the Biosafety Protocol: key challenges

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* The Cartagena Protocol is becoming a global source of rules and norms for GMO trade but important elements will need to be negotiated by the parties to make it a more comprehensive regulatory system. * The most urgent task is to agree upon rules on identifying GMO content in bulk agricultural trade, which is central to importing countries' ability to carry out risk assessment and implement domestic regulations on GMO traceability and labelling. * The parties will have to decide on how the compliance mechanism is to work. Proposals for a sanctions-based approach in this context have proved to be highly controversial. * Parties also need to consider the financial implications arising from cases of non-compliance, as part of the wider need to promote effective capacitybuilding in developing countries. * In negotiating these elements, the existing parties (mainly GMO-importing countries) face a strategic trade-off: whether to push ahead with their implementation agenda or seek a broader consensus, including with (nonparty) GMO-exporting countries.

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