19 November 1998
EU averts trade war with USA over SRM

THE European Union has avoided a row with the USA over trade in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals containing cattle ingredients.

The possibility of a dispute was raised when the EU demanded that some countries remove and destroy “specified risk material” (SRM) from cattle after slaughter.

The move was designed to eliminate the risk to human health from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

But the SRM material is processed into an ingredient of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and therefore there were fears that Europe would ban the import of millions of dollars worth of products.

The European Commissions amended proposals do not now apply to cosmetics or pharmaceuticals.

The proposals would place countries into one of four groups, depending on the risks posed by their animals exposure to BSE.

The plans are not due to be implemented until next September.