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Science in trade disputes related to potential risks: comparative case studies

  • Authors: Erik MILLSTONE, Patrick VAN ZWANENBERG, Claire MARRIS, Les LEVIDOW, Helge TORGERSEN. Edited by: Per S├śRUP, Dolores IBARRETA, Oliver WOLF
  • EUR Number: EUR 21301 EN
  • Publication date: 9/2004


The report presents the results of a study on the use of science in decision-making when facing uncertainty comparing three actual trade conflicts where the contrasting outcomes have been analysed: the WTO hormones-in-meat dispute, the genetically engineered recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (r-BST) dispute and the Austrian ban to Monsanto's GM maize expressing the Bt gene. The general conclusion, after interviewing major key players in the three cases, is that the differences in the judgements and policies in the EU and the USA have arisen not just because different answers have been given to a common set of questions, but also because different questions are being asked. The "different questions asked" reflect that the "risk universe" is defined differently by the trade partners

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