Terms of an international protocol on biosafety are scheduled to be settled next month and the best likely outcome that the biotech industry can hope for is a treaty that imposes minor inconveniences on companies seeking to develop innovative agricultural technologies for use in developing countries, according to Val Giddings, Vice President for Food & Agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

The worst outcome, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has warned, is an agreement that imposes major disruptions on trade in a wide variety of biotechnology products, ranging from drugs and vaccines to crops and processed foods.