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European Communities—Measures Concerning Meat and Meat Products (Hormones Case)
World Trade Organization, Appellate Body
WT/DS26, 48/AB/R (Feb. 13, 1998)
The European Communities (defendant) adopted a prohibition on the import of meat from cattle that had been administered growth hormones. The prohibition applied to both natural and synthetic hormones. The United States and Canada (plaintiffs) challenged the import ban under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Agreement. The European Communities argued that the import ban was permitted and was based on a number of scientific articles and studies. However, that evidence showed that the use of these growth hormones was safe as long as the hormones were administered in accordance with the requirements of good veterinary practice. The European Communities did not offer any evidence showing that abusive practices were ongoing or that food derived from cattle subjected to such practices would be unsafe. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Panel determined that the European Communities’ import ban violated the SPS Agreement. The European Communities appealed to the WTO Appellate Body.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning
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