New legislation for hormone-treated beef

The Commission yesterday proposed new legislation to reinforce bans on hormone-treated beef

The Commission yesterday proposed new legislation to reinforce bans on hormone-treated beef. After new scientific studies, the Commission wants to ban the use of 17ß oestradiol hormones in farm animals both for growth promotion and therapeutic purposes and zootechnical treatment. Brussels also proposes to maintain the current prohibition on five other hormones on a provisional basis. The new legislation could enter into force on 1 July 2001, after approval by the Council and the European parliament.

In 1998, the World Trade Organisation ruled that the 12 year old EU ban on imports of US hormone-treated beef is illegal, granting the US the right to impose retaliatory trade sanctions. Now the Commission hopes that these proposals represent another step towards the implementation of the international obligations of the EU whilst maintaining its chosen high level of health protection.

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