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The European Union is Prepared
to Ban U.S. Hormone Treated Beef

October 20, 2003

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The European Union has announced it has taken all the necessary steps to ban U.S. hormone-treated beef as a health threat, a report said Wednesday.

The EU also will request the United States and Canada lift $116 million in annual punitive tariffs imposed on European goods, the Wall Street Journal reported.

U.S. officials say they stand by the safety of U.S. beef and believe the ban eventually will be lifted. Another round of legal fights within the World Trade Organization now appears likely.

EU officials who spoke about Tuesday's move said recent scientific studies bear out the EU contention hormone-treated beef poses a potential health risk.

"I now call on the United States and Canada to lift their trade sanctions against the EU," Pascal Lamy, the EU's trade commissioner, said in a statement.

The United States and Canada filed suit against the EU beef ban in 1996 within the WTO. When the EU refused to drop the ban, the United States and Canada slapped retaliatory tariffs in 1999 on European luxury products, ranging from French cheese to Italian handbags.



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