Front Page

UK

World

Business

Sci/Tech

Sport

Despatches

World Summary


On Air

Cantonese

Talking Point

Feedback

Low Graphics

Help

Site Map

Friday, January 16, 1998 Published at 08:55 GMT



Business

EU ban on American beef 'illegal'
image: [ American farmers say beef exports to Europe are worth $250m a year ]
American farmers say beef exports to Europe are worth $250m a year

The World Trade Organisation has upheld a previous ruling that a nine-year European Union ban on US beef is illegal.

Now Europe must decide whether to import American beef or compensate US farmers, who say trade to the EU would be worth $250m a year.

The WTO appeal body confirmed the EU could not prevent the export of beef into its 15 member states, despite concerns over hormones added to the meat.

But the decision permits the EU to alter the conditions of the ban rather than lift it.

Concerns about the addition of six hormones to more than 90% of American beef led to the sanction.

The WTO agreed with American studies showing the hormones to be safe, but EU officials retain their reservations.

One source said: "The bottom line is we will not be importing hormone-treated beef into the EU."

The WTO gave the EU two months to decide whether to allow US beef imports or pay compensation instead.

The US special trade negotiator, Peter Scher, said America's goal was to see the nine-year ban lifted.

"We have no interest in compensation," he said.

In America, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association chairman, Mark Armentrout, said the verdict was a vindication for US farming techniques.

"The WTO first ruled in May 1997 that the EU ban was not based on sound science," he said.

"Rather than open its markets, the EU attempted to stretch the dispute resolution process as long as possible. Enough is enough."

The US Agriculture Secretary, Dan Glickman, added: "It is time to put an end to this long-running trade dispute and allow EU consumers to decide for themselves what they want to buy.

"The WTO dispute-settlement process has run its course and the EU must now honour its obligations."

The American Farm Bureau welcomed the ruling, hinting strongly that it had always suspected the ban smacked of protectionism.








Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage


Internet Links

World Trade Organization

European Union: Europa

National Cattlemen's Beef Association

American Farm Bureau

Agriculture at the European Commission


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

NatWest bid timetable frozen

No longer Liffe as we know it

France faces EU action over electricity

Inquiry into energy provider loyalty

The growing threat of internet fraud

Christmas turkey strike vote

Brown considers IMF job

Train robbery game hope for SCi

From Sport
League to rule on Sky shares

Mannesmann fights back

Online share dealing triples

Chinese imports boost US trade gap

Pace enters US cable heartland

The rapid rise of Vodafone

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

Brown's bulging war-chest

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

House passes US budget

Rate fears as sales soar

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

Maxwell pledge to pensioners

Power cuts spark union warning

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

Oil reaches nine-year high

'Asian management culture must change'

US 'prepared for Millennium Bug'

Gucci on a spending spree





Business Contents

Your Money
Market Data
Economy
Companies
Business Basics
E-Commerce