Food Law News - EU - 1999

11 February 1999: HORMONES - Options on Hormone Ban

The Week in Europe, 11 February 1999

Options on Hormone Ban

Three options for responding to a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling on the EU's ban on meat hormones are outlined in a Communication adopted on 10 February.The EU could enter talks with the USA and Canada (which took the issue to the WTO) over potential compensation, which might include trade access concessions. A second possibility would be to change the current ban into a temporary one on the basis of available relevant information. Finally, the ban on imports could be lifted and rules on labelling introduced. The EU has until 13 May to bring its measures into line with world trade rules, following a WTO Appellate Body ruling in February 1998. In response to this, the Commission initiated a risk assessment and scientific studies. Preliminary findings are expected in April or May, but the EU can take a final decision on the current beef hormone ban only when final results are available, probably later this year or in 2000. The Communication focuses on the run-up to the 13 May deadline and the subsequent interim period for completing the risk assessment. The EU has applied a ban on the use of hormones for growth promotion in meat production since 1988. It covers both domestic production and imports.

For previous item, see 16 March 1998.

To go to current EU Food Law News page, click here.
To go to main Food Law Index page, click here.