Chandler Keys, Vice President of Government Affairs, National Cattlemen's Beef Association:

 “The European Union (EU) ban on U.S. hormone-treated beef was already found to be an illegal trade barrier by the World Trade Organization (WTO), violating international trade rules, and not at all based on sound science.

“The new directive is just another wrong move after dozens of years of delay tactics and two decades of lost markets for U.S. cattlemen. It’s time for the EU to play fair with us and with its own people. European consumers should have the opportunity to decide for themselves what products to buy, just as American consumers do every day.

“Repeated scientific studies, including those done by the EU, show that the banned growth promotants pose no threat to human or animal health when used according to approved veterinary procedures. The WTO Appellate Body reiterated this when they upheld sound science rather than using unscientific factors as the basis for international trade rules and ruled in favor of the United States, forcing the EU to drop the ban or prove it is scientifically valid. The EU has failed to look at the science in this matter and refused to implement the recommendations and rulings of the WTO.

“This latest news regarding this ban is just another attempt by the EU to stir up old, non-scientific claims which have no validity. U.S. cattlemen are proud of their outstanding product, raising and producing the safest beef in the world. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Food Safety Inspection Service have studied this issue at length, and have found that there are no risks to human or animal health from the use of these growth promotants. U.S. cattle producers have continually called on the EU to drop its illegal ban on U.S. beef or face retaliation.

“NCBA will assist in the pursuit of any legal action against the EU that may benefit the U.S. beef industry in its long battle to gain relief from the EU hormone ban on beef.

“The EU ban is pure protectionism, and U.S. cattlemen will continue to fight the EU on this matter.”