All WTO Members have the fundamental right to take sanitary and phytosanitary measures("SPS measures") necessary for the protection of their consumers, animals and plants from health risks. The basic obligation under the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures ("SPS Agreement") was to ensure that trade measures aimed at protecting health were based on scientific principles and not maintained without sufficient scientific evidence. Under the SPS Agreement, the requirement of scientific evidence described in Article 5(Assessment of Risk and Determination of the Appropriate Level of Sanitary or Phytosanitary Protection)Under the SPS Agreement there have been five disputes referred to dispute settlement panels. The question of scientific justification and the use of risk assessment were important issues in all of these disputes. The panel and Appellate Body reports provide insight into the practical application of the SPS Agreement's disciplines, particularly with respect to Article 5.
This thesis focus on the Article 5 of SPS Agreement, and aims at highlighting a number of lessons to be learnt from the present WTO system concerning risk assessment(Article 5.1 to 5.3). The most important lesson From the study of WTO disputes cases is that for an SPS measure to be maintained with sufficient scientific evidence there needed to be an objective relationship between the phytosanitary measure and the scientific evidence.