Biosafety Protocol, International Trade and Agricultural Biotechnology: Policy Inferences for India

Abstract: The growing development in and possibly greater diffusion of biotechnology products have further accentuated the intensity of trade restrictions on the entry of these goods in countries like EU, Japan and South Korea. While India initiates the various measures to implement the Biosafety protocol it is essential that specific trade policy responses are thought of on priority. This would be important for effective implementation of other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) as well. In this context apart from other measures certain institutional initiatives need to be launched; for instance regional and sub-regional cooperation, focus on development of necessary skills for quarantine and other agencies, precautionary measures without affecting the trade facilitation measures. At the regional level, initiatives like Biosafety Clearing House and risk assessment mechanism should be effectively put in place. In order to facilitate this the policy specific scientific responses for risk assessment and risk management may also be finalised at the earliest possible.

Key Words: Biosafety, Trade, Agricultural Biotechnology and Regional Cooperation