06 August 1997
EC tallow ban threatens trade row
THE European Commission faces a potential trade row with the US over the bovine spongiform encephalopathy crisis.
The extension of banned risk materials from the food chain to include tallow or animal fat, which is used in candles and soap, threatens chaos.
Tallow derivatives are used in 80% of all pharmaceutical products, cosmetics and everything from paints to plastics. An extension of the ban could lead to temporary shutdowns of manufacturers which rely on the substance.
Countries, including the US, Canada and New Zealand, complain they could be barred from exporting tallow to Europe unless they change their own slaughterhouse rules.
Tallow is usually made by boiling whole cattle carcasses.
The US has threatened to complain to the World Trade Organisation.