21 October 1999
Hormone beef is OK, says vets’ committee
By Philip Clarke, Europe Editor
SCIENTIFIC advisers have told the government that the EUs continuing ban on imports of hormone-treated beef is not justified by its own information.
At the request of farm minister, Nick Brown, the independent sub-group of the Veterinary Products Committee concluded the risks to human health were exaggerated.
Despite this, MAFF says it is prepared to continue supporting the EUs block on imports, even though it disagrees with the principle.
“The ban has always been fully implemented in the UK and will continue to be so until EU legislation is changed,” said Mr Brown.
Some observers say Mr Brown has only gone public with the VPC report as a political gesture to show that the UK abides EU rules even when it doesnt like them.
Others suggested MAFF wants to curry favour with Washington so UK produce escapes if the USA steps up its taxes on EU goods in retaliation for the hormone ban.