|November 8, 2004, as reported
by just-food.com: This time it is the EU that will be taking
the U.S. and Canada before for the World Trade Organization challenging
ongoing sanctions by the overseas trade partners over its ban on hormone
The European Union is questioning the fairness of the sanctions
against it, arguing that it has removed the measures that were deemed
WTO-inconsistent when the row originally broke out in 1998 leaving
no justification for the continuing sanctions.
“There is no reason why European companies should continue
to be targeted by sanctions when they export to Canada and the United
States. The EU ban on certain growth promoting hormones is now in
full respect of our international obligations. We have put in place
revised legislation based on a thorough and independent scientific
risk assessment,” said EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy.
In February 1998, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body ruled against
the EU’s ban on certain growth promoting beef hormones, deciding
that EU legislation at the time was not based on a proper scientific
risk assessment and the supporting scientific evidence was insufficient.
The EU has worked to eliminate those deficiencies by basing the
new EU Hormones Directive of September 22, 2003 on a full scientific
risk assessment that was conducted over the years 1999-2002. The
new directive maintains the permanent ban on oestradiol 17ß
and imposes a provisional ban on five other hormones (testosterone,
progesterone, trenbolone acetate, zeranol and melengestrol acetate)
because of perceived risks to human health.
On October 27, 2003, the EU notified the WTO that it had implemented
the WTO ruling of 1998 and that Canada and the US should therefore
lift their sanctions. The North American countries disagreed and
refused to lift their sanctions.