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New Twist in the Never Ending Beef Hormone Dispute

16 January 2009

GLOBE - The ongoing beef hormone dispute between the EU and US/Canada has taken another turn with the announcement that United States Trade Representative (USTR) is modifying the list of EU products subject to additional duties in connection with the World Trade Organization dispute settlement.

The USTR says that the modifications make additions to and deletions from the list of the products subject to additional duties, change the EU member States whose products are subject to the duties, and for one product, increase the level of the additional duties.


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"We are convinced that our legislation on hormones is fully in line with WTO law"
EU spokesperson Peter Power

"In 1998, the WTO found that the EU’s ban on U.S. beef was not supported by science and was thus inconsistent with WTO rules, and in 1999 the United States imposed additional duties on a list of EU products in accordance with a WTO authorization. For over a decade, we have been trying to resolve this dispute with the EU, but our efforts have gone nowhere," claimed USTR Schwab.

"In these circumstances, I have decided it is time to modify the duties to try to encourage a resolution of this longstanding dispute so as finally to provide a fair outcome to the U.S. beef industry, while addressing the economic impact of such long-standing duties on U.S. interests."

In response, the EU has requested consultations with the US and Canada in the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning the WTO-compliance of its restrictions on hormone-treated beef. The EU says it has removed the WTO-inconsistencies identified by the Appellate Body in 1998, making the restrictions on hormone-treated beef compliant with the WTO Agreement.

Europa says that in a recent WTO dispute brought by the EU against the continued trade sanctions of the US and Canada, the Appellate Body found that the EU, US and Canada must engage in so-called compliance proceedings to verify the WTO-compatibility of the current EU legislation and the legality of the sanctions imposed by US and Canada on EU exports.

"We are convinced that our legislation on hormones is fully in line with WTO law: the restrictions on hormone-treated beef are based on solid scientific evidence showing risks for human health. We are thus very confident and hope that the US and Canada will engage constructively in these consultations and that we can find a solution to this long-lasting dispute" said EU spokesperson Peter Power.

Further Reading

- You can view the Modified List of EU Products Subject to Additional Duties by clicking here.
- Alternatively, for more information, read: The Big Question Over Beef Hormones by clicking here.

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