Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 16, 2008 19:03 ET

WTO Rules in Canada's Favour in Ongoing EU Beef Ban Dispute

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2008) - Today the World Trade Organization's appeal body ruled in favour of Canada in an ongoing dispute with the European Union over the EU ban on imports of Canadian beef from cattle treated with growth hormones.

"Canadian beef is a symbol of excellence in the global marketplace and we are pleased that the World Trade Organization Appellate Body has confirmed that Canada is not in violation of any of its WTO obligations," said Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This Government will ensure Canada-EU commercial relations remain strong and mutually beneficial while we continue to stand up for the interests of Canadian producers."

Both Canada and the United States have consistently opposed the EU ban on the importation of beef from hormone-treated cattle since it was imposed in 1989. Both countries maintain that the EU has not been able to prove there are scientific reasons for a ban. In 1998, the WTO agreed with Canada and the United States on this matter and in 1999 it allowed both countries to retaliate by increasing duties on certain EU imports.

Today the WTO appeal body also reversed a decision by another WTO panel which had found in March 2008 that Canada's retaliatory measures were inconsistent with certain WTO procedural obligations.

The Government of Canada is carefully reviewing the report and considering its next steps in consultation with stakeholders. The appellate decision must be adopted by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body within 30 days of its release date.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Margaux Stastny
    Press Secretary