See also > decision on the implementation of Article 4, point (d), membership and participation of the member or institutions concerned on its territory in international plant health and protection 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. In 2003, the United States challenged a number of EU legislation restricting the importation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in a dispute known as biotech on the grounds that they were «unjustifiable» and illegal under the SPS agreement. In May 2006, the WTO`s dispute resolution body issued a complex ruling that challenged aspects of the EU GMO regulation, but rejected many of the US claims. A summary of the decision can be provided here. The agreement on the application of health and plant health measures, also known as the SPS agreement or simply SPS, is an international treaty of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and came into force with the creation of the WTO in early 1995.  Overall, the health and plant health measures («SPS») covered by the agreement are those aimed at protecting life, the animal or the plant or human or plant health from certain risks.  3. This agreement does not infringe on members` rights under other international instruments, including the right to use good offices or dispute resolution mechanisms of other international organizations or that have been established under an international agreement. The SPS agreement is closely linked to the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, which was signed the same year and has similar objectives. The OBT is the result of the WTO round of negotiations in Tokyo and was negotiated to ensure non-discrimination in the adoption and implementation of technical rules and standards.
 Given that GATT has focused on reducing tariffs, the framework that preceded the SPS agreement was not sufficiently equipped to deal with the problems of non-tariff barriers (NB) and the need for an independent agreement to address it has become critical.  The SPS agreement is an ambitious attempt to address NB due to cross-border differences in technical standards, without reducing the prerogative of governments to implement protection measures against diseases and pests.  Under the SPS agreement, the WTO sets restrictions on Member States` policy on food security (bacterial contaminants, pesticides, inspection and labelling) as well as animal and plant health (phyto-hygiene) with regard to imported pests and diseases.