Hormone-treated beef from U.S.? Never, says European trade commissioner

De Gucht says Europe won't lower food standards in trade talks with U.S.

McClatchy Washington BureauFebruary 18, 2014 

Jon Taggart raises cattle on native range grass on his ranch near Grandview, Texas. The demand for grass-fed beef has been on the rise.


Americans eat hormone-treated beef all the time, but U.S. farmers won’t be sending that meat to Europe anytime soon.

“Hormone beef is prohibited in Europe, and we do not intend to change this,” European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said Tuesday.

European negotiators are back in Washington, trying to hammer out a new agreement to broaden trade with the U.S.

But while U.S. farmers have been hoping to sell more beef to Europeans under a new trade pact, De Gucht said the EU has no interest in lowering any of its food standards.

“Let me be very clear again: We do not even discuss hormone beef,” De Gucht said.

The EU has long banned the use of hormones in beef as a way to protect its consumers. U.S. officials have long complained that it’s perfectly safe and scientifically approved.

On a bright note, De Gucht did say the EU is making “good progress” in its overall negotiations with the U.S.

More talks are planned.


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