6 U. Ottawa L. & Tech. J. 1 (2009)

handle is hein.journals/uoltj6 and id is 1 raw text is: A Cause of Action for Regulatory Negligence? The
Regulatory Framework for Genetically Modified Crops in
Canada and the Potential for Regulator Liability
Thomas Moran, Nola M Ries, and David Castle*
THIS PAPER CONSIDERS WHETHER, UNDER CANADIAN LAW, a government regulatory agency could be
found liable for negligent regulation' of genetically modified (GM) crops. The paper begins with an
overview of the Canadian framework for GM crop regulation and notes criticisms about the adequacy of this
framework. The state of Canadian law regarding regulatory liability is then analysed. The authors conclude
that litigants who wish to assert a claim of regulatory negligence face significant legal barriers, particularly
since review of GM crop applications involves weighing complex scientific data and determining tolerable
levels of risk, matters that would likely be non-justiciable in a negligence claim. Current jurisprudence,
however, leaves open some unresolved bases of liability. The paper closes with a brief overview of
recommendations to improve the Canadian regulatory framework for GM crops, focusing particularly on
enhancing transparency in the decision-making process.
DANS CE TEXTE, ON EXAMINE DANS QUELLE MESURE un organisme de reglementation gouvernemental
pourrait, en vertu du droit canadien, etre tenu responsable d'une  reglementation negligente >> des cultures
transg6niques. Cet article debute par une vue d'ensemble du cadre canadien pour la reglementation des
cultures d'especes g6netiquement modifiees et note 'existence de critiques a propos de Ia justesse de ce
cadre. On analyse ensuite 'etat du droit canadien au chapitre de Ia responsabilite r6glementaire. Les auteurs
concluent que les parties desireuses de deposer une plainte pour negligence reglementaire rencontrent des
obstacles juridiques importants, en particulier dans la mesure ou I'examen des demandes relativement A des
cultures transgeniques comprend I'6valuation de donnees scientifiques complexes et la d6termination des
niveaux tol6rables de risque, des questions probablement non justiciables dans le cadre d'une poursuite
pour negligence. La jurisprudence actuelle laisse cependant ouverts certains arguments non resolus de la
responsabilite. Le texte se termine par un bref apergu des recommandations visant a ameliorer le cadre
r~glementaire du Canada pour ce qui est des cultures transg6niques, en rappelant en particulier l'importance
d'une transparence accrue dans le processus decisionnel.
Copyright 2009 C by Thomas Moran. Nola M Ries and David Castle.
The authors acknowledge funding support from AFMNet. the Network of Centres of Excellence for Advanced Foods &
Materials. Thornas Moran, BA, JD, is with Bull Housser & Tupper in Vancouver Nola M. Ries, MPA, LLM, is Assistant
Professor, Faculty of Law. University of Victoria and Research Associate. Health Law Institute. University of Alberta. David
Castle, PhD, is Canada Research Chair in Science and Society and Associate Professor, University of Ottawa. The authors
thank Stuart Smyth, PhD, College of Biotechnology University of Saskatchewan. for helpful comments on a draft of this
paper This paper reflects the state of law as of Spring 2008.

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