Victory for EU in hormone-treated meat dispute

1st April 2008, Comments 0 comments

The European Union claimed victory in the long-standing dispute and called on the US and Canada to lift retaliatory import duties worth about EUR 83 million on some EU products.

1 April 2008

BRUSSELS - The European Union claimed victory on Monday in a long-standing dispute over hormone-treated meat and called on the United States and Canada to lift retaliatory import duties worth about USD 130 million (EUR 83 million) on some EU products.

The move followed a decision by World Trade Organisation (WTO) judges in Geneva, who found that the US and Canada were wrong to retaliate against the EU's ban on the import of such meat, EU officials in Brussels said.

The EU has banned the use of growth-promoting hormones and the import of meat treated with such hormones on health grounds since the 1980s.

Scientific studies carried out by the EU in 1999, 2000 and 2002 found that one of the six hormones contained in such meat is linked with cancer and can harm genes. In the case of the other hormones, the scientific evidence is still inconclusive.

In spite of European concerns, the WTO nevertheless allowed the US and Canada to impose a 100 percent import duty on some EU agricultural products and manufactured goods.

But on Monday, the WTO panel ruled that the US and Canadian sanctions breach WTO rules.

The sides can still appeal the ruling.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

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