Hormones, Risk Management, Precaution and Protectionism: An Analysis of the Dispute on Hormone-Treated Beef between the European Union and the United States
The first commercial dispute settled by the WTO under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement concerned the disagreement between the European Communities and the United States over the European import ban on meat and meat products derived from cattle to which hormones have been administered for growth promotion purposes. The purpose of this paper is twofold: First, we analyse the WTO's approach to the notion of risk in the use of hormones and the role this played in reaching its decision to declare the EC ban on hormone-treated beef imports inconsistent with its obligations under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement. Second, we discuss the way in which the precautionary principle has been dealt with in the settlement of this conflict. We then show how this dispute has paved the way to a debate on the concept of protectionism to be applied in this kind of dispute. The European Commission in a recent communication on the precautionary principle has launched this debate
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Volume (Year): 14 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
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