Azara Blog: WTO tells the EU their ban on North American beef is illegal

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Date published: 2008/03/31

The BBC says:

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled that the European Union (EU) flouted global trade rules in its ban on beef treated with growth hormones.

The US hailed the ruling in the long-running trans-Atlantic spat as an "important victory".

But the WTO also found fault with US and Canada because of sanctions they imposed on EU exports in retaliation for the beef ban.

The EU says beef treated with certain hormones poses a health risk.

But the WTO dispute settlement panel said that the EU's justification for its import ban was not backed up with scientific evidence.

It also said that the US and Canada were wrong to extend retaliatory measures on exports of European products such as Roquefort cheese, truffles and Dijon mustard.

Here the WTO, of all organisations, has made a sane ruling. The EU does not like North American beef for religious and commercial reasons, not for scientific reasons. Whether this ruling will actually change anything remains to be seen.

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