The WTO Agreement – the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), which, together with the SPS Agreement, are often used in studies that examine how the international trading system attempts to take into account differences in domestic regulation. I examine the main elements and rulings of the three WTO SPS disputes that help to detect how the WTO system pronounces the SPS agreement. And I identify important conclusions that can be drawn about how this system works. The aim is not only to assess the SPS Agreement, but also to examine the political question that arises wherever the extension of the scope of free trade rules enters national policies: can international rules and institutions impose discipline on national policy without requiring harmonisation according to international standards? This question often arises – especially in the debate on trade and the environment – and the SPS agreement shows a slightly positive response. Growing conflicts within standards bodies should not be claimed. It is the by-product of a shift from a voluntary (often ineffective) system of standards to one that can have a more constraining effect. This postponement has made some players less willing to sacrifice their interests for a deal. Numerous widely published incidents since the early 1980s, when hormones entered European food markets, have made European consumers wary of beef35 A ban, the Commission said, is necessary to restore confidence in the market36. Guidelines and recommendations may be made in this regard. .
. . ” and desiring to support the application of harmonized sanitary and phytosanitary measures among Members on the basis of international standards. . . . On the other hand, the preamble does not mention as main objectives a risk assessment or rules relating to derogations from international standards. WTO members are therefore about to be elected. A member may simply implement international standards6 where they exist or deviate from those standards.
. . .