> for more information, see: www.codexalimentarius.net the WTO agreement must repeal non-compliant measures that limit trade. However, the WTO agreement provides for a number of exceptions to measures and regulations necessary, for example, to protect the life and health of humans, animals or plants. This protection was originally found exclusively under Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) (GATT, 1947), but was incorporated into the WTO agreement as Article XX of the GATT (GATT, 1994a). It is article XX b of the GATT (1994a) that allows Member States to legislate to create trade barriers to ensure food security. However, the WTO agreement contains two new agreements, the SPS and the OBT agreements, which contain specific rules to determine the legitimacy of measures affecting the health and safety of foodstuffs and technical barriers to all products, including food. (d) the affiliation and participation of the relevant agencies on its territory in international and regional health and plant health organizations and systems, as well as bilateral and multilateral agreements and arrangements under this agreement, as well as the texts of these agreements and arrangements. The SPS agreement underlines the importance of “relevant international organisations” in defining “standards, international guidelines or recommendations” (GATT 1994b, p. 69, preamble to the SPS agreement), while the TBT agreement refers to “international standards” and “standards bodies” (GATT 1994c, p. 138, 142, Preambel and Article 4 of the TBT agreement). The SPS agreement explicitly mentions Codex as one of these institutions and, although not explicitly mentioned in the TBT agreement, its reference can be inferred; especially since the OBT agreement addresses labelling issues as technical obstacles. The SPS and OBT agreements call on all parties to harmonize their national standards with international standards, guidelines and recommendations, provided such standards exist.
In the event of trade disputes, standards, guidelines and recommendations – such as those created under codex, the International Outbreak Board and the International Plant Protection Agreement – enjoy privileged and protected status under the WTO dispute settlement process. Although the provisions for non-compliant measures are different under the two agreements, there is a significant similarity between them, as any internationally recognized and recognized standard as an obstacle to international trade is protected from challenges (GATT 1994b, p.