12 May 1999
Europe offers to compensate USA over beef

THE European Union (EU) is offering to pay the USA compensation for losses incurred by the EUs ban on beef treated with growth hormones.

The move, aimed to avoid the imposition of sanctions, will be made at meeting this week in Tokyo of senior trade officials from the two countries.

The USA is poised to impose sanctions on the EU if does not comply by tomorrow with a World Trade Organisation (WTO) to lift its import ban on the beef.

The WTO has ruled that the ban violates world trade rules because it is not supported scientific evidence that hormones damage health.

The EU says it will not meet the deadline because it is still studying the safety of hormones.

EU scientists claimed last week that hormone-treated beef may cause cancer.