02 July 1997
EC plans hormones appeal
The European Commission is set to appeal against a World Trade Organisation ruling that its ban on imports of hormone-treated beef breaches world trade rules.
A report by the WTO has backed US and Canadian complaints that the European ban was illegal and unjustified. The ban was imposed in 1989 and affected beef imports worth up to $250m annually.
If the appeal fails, the EU will have to either lift its ban, or pay hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to the US and Canada for lost trade. Early indications suggest that the EU would rather pay the compensation than lift the ban and subject EU citizens to beef it deems unsafe. The appeal is unlikely to change the verdict. The report comes down squarely against an ending of the ban.