9 February 1996

Hormone ban call

BEEF producers at the NFU agm livestock surgery insisted that the EU ban on growth promoting hormones must not be lifted.

They fear that if the USA is successful in forcing the ban to be lifted producers would suffer a serious backlash in consumer support. That would further damage sales which were only now beginning to recover after the recent BSE scare.

Delegates accepted that removing the ban would be bad for the entire industry, although a minority would consider using hormones if the ban was lifted.

Martin Burtt, livestock committee chairman, said afterwards: "The vast majority of us want nothing to do with hormones."

Its the last thing we want after the BSE problems we have faced."

Regardless of whether or not science had proved that hormones were safe, consumer reaction had to be considered and that was the utmost concern for producers.