EC to clarify safety ban criteria

1 November 1999

EC to clarify safety ban criteria

The European Commission will try to stem a source of growing trade friction with the USA.

It hopes to establish clearer criteria for banning products on health and safety grounds when there is no conclusive scientific evidence they are dangerous.

It plans to set out guidelines for applying the so-called precautionary principle, which the EU says entitles it to prohibit or restrict products that are suspected of being hazardous.

Brussels defence of the precautionary principle is at the heart of the disputes with Washington over issues such as the EU ban on hormone-treated beef and European resistance to genetically modified crops.

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