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Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: Some Preliminary Observations

Productivity Commission submission

This submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was released in November 2000.

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The Commission's approach

What is the problem?

Is the Protocol cost-effective?
Definition of living modified organisms
Import decision making provisions
Handling, transport, packaging and identification requirements
Requirements to provide information to a Biosafety Clearing House
The Protocol's uncertain relationship with the SPS Agreement

What if Australia does not sign and ratify the Protocol?

Concluding remarks

Attachment A
Table 1   Genetically modified crop area by country
Table 2   Genetically modified crop area by crop
Table 3   Principal traits in genetically modified crops in 1999
Figure 1   Total area of farm land in Australia, 1960/61 to 1998/99
Figure 2   Average wheat yields since 1870
Figure 3   Contributions to average annual growth in real output by the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector 1974-75 to 1997-98


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