EU Complaint on Beef Hormones Shot Down by WTO

Fault also found with U.S. and Canada.

On Monday a World Trade Organization panel ruled that the European Union's ban on beef treated with growth hormones from the U.S. and Canada was illegal under WTO rules.

"The findings confirm the principle that measures imposed for health reasons must be based on science," said U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. "It is high time for the EU to come into compliance with its obligations on this matter."

This is the latest chapter in one of the longest trade disputes ever. The U.S., Canada and the EU have been arguing about hormone treated beef since 1996.

The European Union argued that they had updated their law concerning the ban on hormone beef in 2003, and retaliatory tariffs being imposed by Canada and the U.S. should end. The panel said justification for the EU ban was not supported by science.

While the panel did rule against the European Union, they also found fault with the U.S. and Canada for failing to resubmit their complaints after the 2003 update.  However; since the EU was still not in compliance, Canada and the U.S. had not violated their own WTO agreements.

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