When it enters into force, the new protocol will regulate trade in and use of live genetically modified organisms (GMOs) with the aim of protecting biodiversity. Under the protocol's advance informed agreement, exporters of GMOs to be used in the environment, such as seeds for sowing, will have to gain consent from importing countries before shipment. A less stringent, "alternative" procedure, will govern GMO commodities such as grains for human or animal food.
Agricultural commodities containing genetically modified material will have to be labelled "may contain" GMOs. No threshold has been established yet for levels of contamination that would not require labelling. The agreement also gives the protocol equal status with other agreements, and particularly any made through the World Trade Organisation.
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