STC Number - 77

Restrictions on canned tuna

Maintained by: Egypt
Raised by: Thailand
Supported by:
First date raised: June 2000 G/SPS/R/19 paras. 103-104
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: G/SPS/GEN/203; WT/DS205/1
Products covered: 1604 Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar substitutes prepared from fish eggs.; 160414 -- Tunas, skipjack and bonito (Sarda spp.)
Primary subject keyword: Food safety
Keywords: Food safety; Genetically modified organisms (GMOs); Human health
Status: Not reported
Solution: DSU consultations requested on 22 September 2000 (WT/DS205/1).
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In June 2000, the representative of Thailand acknowledged Egypt's decision to restrict food imports containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but insisted that Thai canned tuna did not contain soybean oil produced from genetically modified plants. He noted that it was not possible to identify the origin of soybean oil since the final processing stages destroyed genetic material. Thailand continued to export canned tuna in soy oil to the European Communities, the United States, Japan, and Switzerland, countries which were generally very strict in terms of food safety. Thailand considered the Egyptian restrictions on Thai canned tuna to be discriminatory, and asked the Egyptian Government to lift the restrictions as soon as possible.

The representative of Egypt took note of the concerns of Thailand and said she would refer the matter to the competent officials in Cairo, and report back to Thailand and the Committee in due course.