Ban on EU produce “excessive”

EU Health Commissioner David Byrne tells EP that bans are “excessive” and “unnecessary” reactions to a problem limited to two Member States

European Union Health Commissioner David Byrne told the European Parliament the bans were "excessive" and "unnecessary" reaction to a problem limited to only to France and the United Kingdom. Mr Byrne told European parliamentarians "I am deeply disappointed by the actions taken by third countries". The US ban will cost EU Members States up to 400 million euro annually in lost trade.

Commissioner Byrne suggested that the European Union could complain to the World Trade Organisation to have the restrictions lifted. Mr Byrne stated: "If necessary we will make full use of our bilateral contacts and WTO trade arrangements to have these restrictions lifted."

Since the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in France, over 90 countries, including Canada, Norway, Australia, Japan and New Zealand, have banned live animal imports and meat and dairy products from the EU. Some countries have gone even further and banned other agricultural products, like grain.

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