Developed countries have agreed to enter into talks with developing countries if poorer food exporting states encounter problems complying with any new food health restrictions imposed by their richer importing trading partners.

The commitment was framed in a Canadian proposal to the World Trade Organisation’s sanitary and phytosanitary measures committee under the ongoing Doha development round talks. Members accepted the proposal while adding that such problems should also be reported to the WTO.

The move follows calls for developing countries to be exempt from some developed country health checks on food imports, because of a dearth of government resources to comply with them.