San Diego International Law Journal

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Article begins with a brief summary of the scientific basis of creating GMOs and its historic precursors. The second section provides an overview of risks to humans and the environment. The third part of this Article analyzes the arguments put forward by both the United States and the E.U., which have defined the conflict between blocs of countries pushing GMOs abroad and those who persistently reject them. The fourth section evaluates the respective regulatory schemes imposed on GMOs by the United States and Europe, domestically and by international treaty. The success of these systems is evaluated in the fifth part through a review of the rulings in various WTO and European Court of Justice (ECJ) cases dealing with GMO trade. The weaknesses built into each system are evaluated in the sixth section. The inadequacies of tort liability systems to fully address the problems presented by GMOs are presented in the seventh section. The eighth section addresses the failings of the options for environmental adjudication within the context of the international treaty organizations. Finally, recommendations will be set forth on the use of scientific testing and labeling to ensure accountability and recourse for countries that may fall victim to the unintended consequences of GMO use. Specifically, of utmost importance is encouraging the use of an adjudicatory body that can weigh environmental and health risks alongside the policies favoring GMOs.