This Article reviews the experience of developing countries with the regulation of trade in GM food products in light of such bilateral pressures and argues that there is a need for broader public participation in the regulation of biotechnology as this will facilitate national governance in an era in which the international trade regime is rapidly eroding national regulatory decision-making autonomy. Furthermore, broadening public participation promises to rescue governments of developing countries from the aforementioned bilateral pressures by helping to strengthen their hands in negotiations for technical assistance and food aid. That is, developing country governments can use participatory regulatory frameworks as a negotiation tool by showing either that their policies are "rooted in ... public support" or that there would be a lack of support for - or even opposition to - any unsuitable regulatory reforms they are being urged to implement. Part I provides the Article's conceptual framework and examines the impact of the WTO's special and differential regime on developing countries' regulatory policy autonomy. Part I also argues that as far as the regulation of trade in GM foods is concerned, the SDT regime undermines these countries' policy autonomy because it facilitates the application of bilateral pressures, and thereby compromises the establishment of democratic regulatory policies supportive of local priorities. Part II examines how international regulatory uncertainty has led to the application of bilateral pressures on developing countries to adopt narrow frameworks for the regulation of trade in GM food products. Part III examines the role of science in biotechnology regulation and argues that broadening public participation will facilitate the adoption of regulatory measures that are responsive to local needs and concerns.
J.M. Migai Akech,
Developing Countries at Crossroads: Aid, Public Participation, and the Regulation of Trade in Genetically Modified Foods,
29 Fordham Int'l L.J. 265
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol29/iss2/2