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C2-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, June 17, 1995
USMEF Reacts Cautiously To Hormone Ban Proposal
DENVER, Colo. U.S. Meat
Export Federation (USMEF) offi
cials were cautiously optimistic
about a proposal from the Euro
pean Union (EU) to convene a
broad-based conference for the
purpose of reevaluating the EU
ban on beef produced with growth
promotants, or hormones.
EU Ag Commissioner Franz
Fischler made the announcement
at the Tenth Worid Meat Congress
in Denver as the next step in re
solving the long-standing trade
dispute with the U.S.
“It was significant for the Com
missioner to acknowledge public
ly that the hormone ban has be
come a food safety problem in
Europe,” laid USMEF president
and CEO Philip M. Seng. “Con
vening a conference to being a
to this issue could be a
positive step in resolv
ing the ban.”
Seng stressed that the
outcome must be based
on sound science and
not consumer attitudes.
“The scientific data
leaves no question that
approved growth pro
motants, properly regu
lated, represent no
health risk whatsoever
to livestock or the pub
lic,” said Seng.
The use of FDA ap
proved growth promo
tants improves the
tenderness of U.S. beef
and increases produc
tion efficiency by as
much as 20 percent,
which reduces the cost
to consumers. Since the
EU hormone ban went
into effect in 1990, U.S.
beef exports to EU na
tions have been effec
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USMEF estimates to
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Fischler said the conference
will be held this autumn, and that
it would be a balanced assessment
of what will be in the long-term
interest of the meat industry.
Leading scientists will address the
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issue during the conference,
which will also be attended by
consumer, producer, and industry
representatives. Members of the
European Parliament will also be
“There is no dispute about the
overall policy objective, and that
is to protect health and welfare,”
Fischler said. “After the confer-
THE SOFT, NEW
ence. I will make up my mind as to
whether there is a need, and to
what extent there are possibilities
for adusting the EU hormone
Seng also expressed concern for
the timing of the conference. “I
would like to see the conference
take place much sooner. We’ve
waited long enough for a resolu
tion to this trade barrier." said
Seng. “We also need to get a date
certain by which the issue will be
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Fischler’s announcement fol
lowed remarks by USDA Secre
tary Dan Glickman. “The pros
perity of the country depends on
free and open trade.” said Glick
man. “The United States will not
accept the use of unsound science
to restrict trade.” Glickman added
that the U.S. would not allow food
safety issues, supported only by
false science, to become the next
generation of trade barriers.
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