Page J-1

annex J


OF 17 AND 18 FEBRUARY 2005


1.  Good morning. I would like to welcome the parties and the experts, Doctors Andow, Healy, Nutti, Snape, Snow and Squire, to this meeting of the Panel on the European Communities – Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products.

2.  At the outset, I would like to remind you that the meetings of panels in the WTO are tape-recorded. I would also like to remind you that at today's meeting as well as the meeting of tomorrow, English/Spanish simultaneous interpretation will be provided, as requested by Argentina. So please be sure to use the microphones when addressing the Panel and, above all, speak SLOWLY. I would like to express my sympathy with the interpreters for this meeting, considering it's extremely technical nature. I would like to remind the experts and the parties that there are constraints and difficulties of interpretation and therefore technical jargon will only be properly interpreted if it is delivered at a reasonable pace.

3.  May I begin by introducing the Members of the Panel: Mr Mohan Kumar, Professor Akio Shimizu, and myself, Christian Häberli, who will be serving as Chair of the Panel.

4.  I would also like to introduce the Secretariat officials who will be assisting the Panel: Mr**********, Secretary to the Panel, Mr **********, Legal Officer, Ms. ********** from Agriculture Division and Ms. ********** from Trade & Environment Division. Finally, I would like to inform the parties of the presence of Mr **********, Junior Economic Affairs Officer from Agriculture Division and Mr **********, an intern with the WTO Legal Affairs Division.

5.  I would like the Heads of Delegations to introduce themselves and the other Members of their delegations. If your delegation has not yet done so, it would be appreciated if you could submit a list of your delegation's members to the Panel secretary. In introducing the Members of your delegations, you must indicate any individuals which are NOT authorised to have an access to SCI, if any are present.


Delegation of Argentina

Ernesto Martinez Gondra (Head of Delegation)


Deputy Representative

Permanent Mission in Geneva

José Luis Pérez Gabilondo,


Director of International

Economic Dispute Settlement

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship

Eduardo Tempone,


Permanent Mission in Geneva

Gustavo Lunazzi,

First Secretary

Permanent Mission in Geneva

Esteban A. Morelli,

First Secretary

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship

Gustavo H. Méndez,

Second Secretary

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship

DrRoxana Blasetti,

Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food

DrMaximiliano Moreno,

Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food

DrMoisés Burachik,

Office of Biotechnology

Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food

Mr Martín Lema,

Office of Biotechnology

Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food


Delegation of Canada

Mr Torsten Ström (Head of delegation)

Senior Counsel, Trade Law Bureau

International Trade Canada/Department of Justice

Mr Kevin Thompson

Counsel, Trade Law Bureau

International Trade Canada/Department of Justice

Ms. Chris Moran

Senior Trade Policy Officer, Technical Barriers and Regulations Division

International Trade Canada

Ms. Jodi Robinson

Trade Policy Officer, Technical Barriers and Regulations Division

International Trade Canada

Ms. Elizabeth Macaulay

Paralegal, Trade Law Bureau

International Trade Canada

Ms. Chantal Sicotte

Senior Trade Policy Analyst

Agriculture and Agri-food Canada

Ms. Nora Lee

A/Chief, Nutrition Evaluation Division

Health Canada

Mr Phil Macdonald

National Manager, Environment Release Assessments, Plant Bio-safety Office

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Ms. Kathleen Mackay

Counsellor (Agriculture)

Permanent Mission of Canada to the European Union

Mr Rambod Behboodi

Senior Legal Advisor

Permanent Mission of Canada, Geneva

Mr Vasken Khabayan

Legal Officer

Permanent Mission of Canada, Geneva

United States

Delegation of the United States

Office of the United States Trade Representative

William Busis (Head of delegation)

Associate General Counsel

Washington, D.C.

Steven F. Fabry

Senior Legal Advisor


Stephen Kho

Legal Advisor


United States Department of Agriculture

DrBernice Slutsky

Special Assistant to the Secretary forBiotechnology

Office of the Secretary

Washington, D.C.

Bobby Richey

Deputy Director

Biotechnology Group

Foreign Agricultural Service

Washington, D.C.

Rebecca Fecitt

International Trade Specialist

Foreign Agricultural Service

Washington, D.C.

Nancy Kao


Washington, D.C.

DrJohn Cordts


Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Washington, D.C.

Mary Revelt



Mr Gregg Young

Foreign Agricultural Service


United States Food and Drug Administration

DrEric Flamm

Senior Science Policy Adviser

Washington, DC

DrKathleen Jones

Consumer Safety Officer

Washington, DC

United States Environmental Protection Agency

Laurel Celeste


Washington, D.C.

Steve Wolfson


Washington, D.C.

DrJohn Kough

Senior Scientist

Washington, DC

United States Department of State

Jack Bobo

Deputy Chief

Biotechnology and Textile Trade

Policy Division

Washington, D.C.

United States Mission to the European Union

Kristina Kvien

First Secretary (Economic Affairs)


European Communities

Delegation of the European Communities


Eric White, Legal Adviser of the Legal Service

James Flett, Member of the Legal Service

Sybilla Fries, Member of Legal Service

Elisabetta Righini, Member of Legal Service

Eric Schoonejans, Member of Legal Service

Luis Portero Sanchez, DG Trade

Jean Ferriere, DG Trade

Andreas Klepsch, DG Sanco

Paivi Mannerkorpi, DG Sanco

Sylvie Mestdagh, DG Environment

Barbara Weber, DG Environment

Stephen Langrell, JRC (17 & 18)

Philippe Sands, External consultant


Gijs Kleter (17-18)

Angelika Hilbeck (17-18)

Nicholas Birch (17-18)

Jeremy Sweet (17-18)

Arne Holst-Jensen (17-18)

Philippe Sands

Sue Hartley (17-18)

G. Fandan Aider, Joint Research Centre


Raimund Raith, Minister-Counsellor/Legal Adviser

Lars Berner, First Secretary

Franz-Rudolf Schloeder, Counsellor

Marie-Pierre Nicora, Attaché

Member States


Cédric Pene, Counsellor, Agriculture


Ursula Holzhauser, Counsellor

Malte Hauschild, First Secretary

Tobias Maass, Intern


Dario Ciccarelli


Jukka Pesola, Counsellor


6.  Thank you EC. I believe Argentina has not responded to my question on strictly confidential information. Would you care to respond? Thank you


7.  I confirm that they are all authorized.


8.  I am turning to the establishment of the Panel's terms of reference. I wish to recall that at its meeting on 29 August 2003 the Dispute Settlement Body has decided in accordance with Article 6 of the DSU to establish a panel pursuant to a request of the US, Canada and Argentina, documents referring are WT/DS291/23, WT/DS292/17, WT/DS293/17. I recall that the Panel held the first substantive meeting with the parties on 2 and 3 June 2004. Both the Panel and the parties recognized the need for the Panel to consult with experts possessing specialized and scientific expertise on the issues arising in the dispute. In consultation with the parties the Panel agreed working procedures for its consultations with scientific and technical experts. These working procedures were communicated to the parties on 13 August 2004.

9.  We have consulted with six international organizations such as the CODEX Alimentarius, FAO, WHO, IPPC, OIE and the Convention on Biological Diversity and having received the views of the parties the Panel has appointed DrAndow, DrHealy, DrNutti, DrSnape, DrSnow and DrSquire to serve as scientific experts in this dispute. Initially only DrAndow, DrNutti, DrSnow and DrDrSquire were appointed, but it turned out that there are two issues which cannot be covered by any of the four experts which are detection methods and molecular characterization. The Panel, after having had the views of the parties, therefore appointed DrSnape and Healy. DrSnape was invited to answer questions concerning molecular characterization only. DrHealy was invited to do so concerning molecular characterization and detection methods only. This applies for this meeting as well.

10.  In accordance with the working procedures and after comment by the parties, the Panel, communicated questions to the experts, the experts were requested to reply in writing by 5 January and these replies were communicated to the parties. Comments received from the parties on the expert replies were circulated to the experts. The purpose of today's meeting is for the Panel to meet the experts to discuss their written responses to the questions and to provide further clarification as appropriate. The parties will also be given an opportunity to discuss these responses by the experts to the questions.

11.  This is a two day meeting and it will proceed in the following manner. First I will give the experts an opportunity to make introductory or general remarks. The experts may wish in particular to address any point where they believe further clarification is needed in the light of the parties' comments on an earlier response to a question. Then I will give the parties a brief opportunity no more than 15 minutes for any general introductory remarks they may wish to make. Note has already been taken of the remarks they have expressed in writing. Then for each issue I will open the floor to the parties to ask questions. The Panel will also ask questions of the experts. Finally when we have concluded with each issue I shall allow the experts time to make closing remarks should they so wish.

12.  Concerning the questions by the parties to the experts the Panel will proceed as follows. For each issue the Panel will first give the complaining parties a period of time within which to ask their questions of the experts. The complaining parties would ask their questions in alphabetical order. Thereafter the EC will be given approximately equal periods of time to ask their questions to the parties including any follow-up questions to those asked by the complaining parties. After the EC has exhausted its time the complaining parties will be given again a very short opportunity to ask specific follow-up questions on their own. Subsequently the Panel will address its own questions to the experts.

13.  In making their remarks both the parties and the experts are requested to minimize redundancy with what they have already submitted to the Panel in writing. We can take it that the Panel has read your submissions, your remarks, and your questions so there is no need to repeat them. With regard to the issues to be considered as requested by the EC the Panel would like to proceed as follows. On this first day the meeting will address the general questions and then move on to Issue 2 (safeguard measures) and Issue 3 (comparison of biotech products to other types of products). This we expect will take the whole day and will probably move into Issues 2 and 3 only in the afternoon depending on how it goes this morning. Tomorrow on the second day we will start again at 10 and start with Issue 1 that is the all product specific questions and then if necessary any remaining time can be used for discussing further on any of the issues addressed today before moving to closing remarks by the experts.

14.  I should further remind the parties and the experts that the proceedings of this Panel are confidential as provided for in Article 18 of the DSU. I would like to request the parties and the experts to state in advance if they are going to refer to the SCI information when they do so. This is important to ensure the proper handling of this information including in the preparation and the transcript of this meeting. The experts may want to refer to various documents including the parties' submissions and exhibits. These documents are either filed in the binders placed on the cart over there or in the CD ROMs which can be opened and viewed in the laptop computers which are near your seats. The Secretariat staff is ready to help you locate these documents if you wish so. Unless there are any comments or questions on this procedure we can now proceed to hear the experts' introductory remarks. There are no questions from the floor. I will therefore suggest that we hear from the experts in alphabetical order starting with DrAndow. You have the floor.


15.  Thank you very much Mr Chairman. I would like to make just a few very short comments. The first is to indicate my very great pleasure at being able to serve at the Panel's request as an expert to the Panel on this important issue and I greatly appreciate the opportunity. Second, I would like to address the parties and say that I was quite pleased to read all the comments on all the experts' replies and was very interested to see how these comments have developed the issues. I hope that through the questioning that occurs today we can clarify some of these issues further. On that point I would like to start with a bit of an apology regarding the clarity and language in some of my comments. It is clear from some of the comments that I read that - let me put it this way - as the Panel Chair told us this morning there is WTO language and there is biotech language. It is pretty clear that many of my questions/answers were written more in biotech language. I will try my best to make the translation more clear so that my point is clear to the various parties. That is my introductory piece.

16.  Let me say a little bit about myself. I was trained as an ecologist at Cornell University with my PhD in ecology with a minor emphasis in evolutionary biology. My training is an environmental science. I tried as much as possible to emphasize the environmental aspects in terms of the answers my responses to the questions from the Panel. I would simply like to say in the 25 years since taking my PhD I have been involved in many of the environmental issues associated with biotech issues starting primarily with the USEPA and some of their work. I then assisted the USDA in an advisory panel to the Secretary of Agriculture. More recently I have been doing work associated with international dimensions of these issues. I am pleased to be able to be here and I am looking forward to interacting with you all. Thank you very much.


17.  Thank you Mr Chairman. I also would like to thank the Panel for inviting me to contribute to this process. I found it both interesting but also very challenging even though I have had a more narrow focus than some of the other experts. Now having read the responses of all the experts and the comments that have been provided by the countries there quite clearly appears to have been different approaches adopted by the different experts to answering the questions. I think this comes out especially in relation to the product-specific questions. I want to make a few comments on how I approach the task and in doing so to raise some of the issues that I think are pertinent to the interpretation and perhaps the intent of the questions and the subsequent responses. A number of the questions that I addressed around molecular characterization identified a particular request for information and asked if it was necessary to ensure the safety of the product. The approach that I took to this task was to review all the relevant information up until the time of the request that was identified in the questions.