(en) Euro appeal in support of ban on hormone-treated beef

Lyn Gerry (redlyn@loop.com)
Thu, 7 Aug 1997 09:06:20 +0000


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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 08:49:52 -0700 (PDT) From: MichaelP <papadop@peak.org> Subject: Euro appeal in support of ban on hormone-treated beef

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EU: WTO PANEL RULING IGNORES STATES' RIGHT TO PROTECT CITIZENS The European Union announced last week that it would appeal a WTO ruling against its ban on hormone-treated beef. In a case brought by the U.S. and Canada, a WTO dispute settlement panel found the EU to be in violation of its international obligations by establishing a ban on beef raised with growth hormones without a scientific risk assessment. The EU said in its appeal announcement that the dispute panel did not take into account growth hormones without a scientific risk assessment. The EU said in its appeal announcement that the dispute panel did not take into account evidence supporting the EU case.

"In the Commission's view, the panel has failed to properly take into account the large body of scientific evidence brought forward by the EU in support of its legislation", the EU put forward in a statement July 1. The EU also maintains that the panel's ruling limits its right to determine the level of protection necessary for its consumers. "Under WTO rules, the right of governments to decide what level of protection they consider appropriate for their citizens is fully recognized," the EU said. "However, the panel's interpretation of key provisions of the Agreement would appear to restrict such right."

If the EU is not successful in its appeal, it must either lift the ban or face reimbursing the U.S. and Canada for lost trade revenue. Trade officials hinted that the EU would rather pay fines than expose consumers to beef products it contends are dangerous. The U.S. estimates that potential beef exports to the EU are worth $250 million a year. Even so, the U.S. is adamant that it does not favor compensation as resolution, wanting the EU to open its beef market instead, arguing that the growth-promoting hormones used are not harmful to humans. The U.S. welcomed the panel's ruling in June as an important step toward dismantling non-scientific trade barriers.

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