19 September 1997
US blow in EU tallow ban

THE US has suffered a blow to its efforts to avoid a European Union (EU) ban on imports of products made from cattle in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

The EUs Scientific Veterinary Committee said it could not guarantee cattle from the US were free of BSE. That is despite the fact there has not been a single reported case of the disease there.

Industry groups are concerned the ban will cause widespread chaos, because cattle derivatives are used in a range of products including lubricants, tyres, packaging printing ink, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Only last week, a different EU scientific veterinary committee said that imports of tallow, just one of the derivatives extracted from cattle, could be allowed if produced under certain guidelines. There is now confusion about which way the ruling might go.

The US has said it would refer the case to the World Trade Organisation if its exports are threatened in any way. The ban comes into force in January.

  • Financial Times 19/09/97 page 5