USA sets out beef peace plan

15 February 1999

USA sets out beef peace plan

THE USA has proposed that all its exports of beef and beef products to the European Union (EU) should be labelled to show their country of origin.

The offer, the first time the USA has agreed to mandatory labelling of its agricultural exports, was made in an attempt to resolve the dispute over the EU ban on hormone-treated meat.

The move was welcomed in Brussels, but EU officials said the US proposal was too limited, because it is unsure whether the labels would state clearly whether beef had been treated with hormones.

The EU has until 13 May to comply with a World Trade Organisation ruling last year, which cane out against the EUs ban on hormone-treated beef.

The Commission admitted last week that the EU would not be ready to meet the May deadline and set out a number of alternative options.

The dispute settlement body of the WTO meets in Geneva this week amid continuing trade tension between the USA and European Union. The ban on hormone-treated beef will be on the agenda as will be the dispute over the import of Caribbean bananas.

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