02 November 1998
USA commits to better meat inspection

THE USA is to improve its inspection of meat sold to the European Union (EU) following the threat of a ban by EU veterinary staff.

The EU vets had concerns about analytical testing. They had found fault with US testing for the residues of hormones, antibiotics and other substances in live animals and animal products.

Subsequent testing found a similar problem recurring which had led to the call for a ban on imports of beef, veal, lamb and horsemeat.

There had been concern that the USA would take retaliatory action against EU exports if a ban was introduced.

US meat exports to the EU are worth about $100 million (£60m) a year. EU exports to the USA are worth $230m (£137m) a year.

The vets also recommended that US authorities should audit export processing plants for milk and dairy products more frequently.