Monday, March 19, 2012

EU Keeps Ban on Unhealthy Hormone-Treated Beef

This article outlines an interesting series of events that have spanned the last 20 years.  The short version is that the U.S. and Canada have been shamelessly trying for decades to persuade the EU (European Union) to allow imports of hormone-treated beef.  Despite the best efforts and shenanigans of the U.S. and Canadian Governments, the EU has held their ground, stating that its ban “rests on scientific evidence of health risks” associated with hormone-treated beef.  Not surprisingly, the U.S. and Canada reject this scientific evidence.

In retaliation to this ban in 1988, the U.S. and Canada placed sanctions of $125 million a year on European products from Roquefort cheese to truffles and mustard. Classy move!  We basically said: “if you won’t take our hormone-laden beef, then we will tax your . . . mustard?”

It appears that through much negotiation, the childish sanctions are now coming to an end, and the EU gets to keep the ban on hormone-treated beef intact.

What I find most fascinating about this topic is revealed in another article I found, written at the height of the dispute in 2009, which gives a glimpse into a European farmer’s perspective of the quality of the U.S. vs. European beef. I urge you to take two minutes to read it and learn about some of the stark contrasts between the beef industries in these two regions of the world and why this farmer believes that “the U.S. (beef) producers focus more on profit than quality.”