WTO ruling against EU ban on beef with hormones

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, April 03, 2008

The WTO backed U.S. and Canadian arguments against the European Union’s import ban on beef treated with hormones.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) allowed, in a complicated ruling, that the United States and Canada may maintain punitive duties worth tens of millions of dollars a year on European products such as Roquefort cheese, truffles and Dijon mustard.

The WTO panel said the U.S. and Canada should have initiated new legal proceedings in order to maintain the sanctions, but ruled the continued illegality of the E.U's ban on hormone-treated beef meant the sanctions were justified. The E.U. is the world’s second-largest importer of beef.

The WTO also ruled against provisional bans on five other growth-promoting hormones, including testosterone, progesterone and zeranol because the E.U. failed to prove there was too little scientific evidence to undertake proper risk assessments.