04 September 1997
Fischler tackles WTO over food safety
EUROPES agriculture commissioner Franz Fischler expressed his frustration over the World Trade Organisations recent ruling against the EUs ban on hormone treated beef.
Mr Fischler said the WTOs lack of “democratic control” posed a threat to the food safety agendas of individual countries.
Last month, the WTO ruled that the EUs eight-year ban on beef produced with hormones was illegal.
But the Financial Times leader says he shot himself and the
European Union in the foot when he spoke by video-link at the food safety
conference in London by appearing to question the (WTOs) authority to enforce
The newspaper says the solution lies in international negotiations to improve
or modify the rules and not, as Fischler believes, in exercising more
“democratic control” over the WTO. US officials were amazed by the
The Financial Times says his inference that government should be able
to influence WTO trades disputes procedures and to procure judgements favourable
to them, is “dangerous nonsense”. It raises serious doubts about
Fischlers commitment to promoting freer agricultural trade.
Fischler also said more information was needed for European consumers on the
“risks” linked with genetically-modified food products. Controversy centres on
how they should be labelled.