Europe to ban American beef

28 April 1999

Europe to ban American beef

By Philip Clarke, Europe Editor

THE European Union is to suspend imports of US beef and bovine liver under the Hormone Free Cattle (HFC) programme, with effect from 15 June.

The European Commission confirmed the action in a statement made this afternoon (Wednesday).

It said the import ban was necessary to protect consumer health following the discovery of hormone residues in meat imported under the scheme.

The announcement came immediately after a vote by the Brussels-based Standing Veterinary Committee.

The vote revealed that a significant majority of EU member states favoured the ban.

Currently the USA ships about 7000t a year under the HFC scheme, worth an estimated $20 million (£12.5m).

Franz Fischler, European farm commissioner, said the ban would only be reversed when he is satisfied the HFC programme is operating effectively.

In a separate decision, the commission said that all future beef imports from the USA will be subject to 100% checks.

See more