Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Hormone Debate

EU Wants Sanctions Justified in WTO Beef Hormone Case
By Jennifer M. Freedman

Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union wants the U.S. and Canada to drop sanctions stemming from EU restrictions on imports of hormone-treated beef, saying the 27-nation bloc’s laws are now “fully in line” with World Trade Organization rules.

Today’s request for consultations comes two months after WTO appellate judges reversed most conclusions reached by a panel on the legality of the EU’s ban on hormone-treated beef and dismissed a finding suggesting that the bloc’s policies violate global trade rules.

“We are convinced that our legislation on hormones is fully in line with WTO law,” European Commission spokesman Peter Power said in a statement issued from Geneva. “The restrictions on hormone-treated beef are based on solid scientific evidence showing risks for human health.”

The WTO said in February 1998 that the EU moratorium on hormone-treated beef -- in place since 1989 -- wasn’t justified because the bloc hadn’t scientifically proven a cancer risk to consumers. When the EU failed to end the moratorium after a 15- month deadline, the U.S. and Canada were authorized to levy duties on European imports including Roquefort cheese, textiles, onions and dried carrots. Read More

In our travels speaking to groups across the country, one of the most requested pieces of information that we get is on hormones. In order for a person to get as much estrogen as there is in a birth control pill, they would have to eat over 3000 pounds of conventionally raised beef every day. The fact of the matter is that many vegetables have more estrogen in them than beef does. There is no such thing as hormone free in life. Hormones are required for life to function. Any food labeled as hormone free is a farce.

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