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Tuesday, 5 October 1999 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Question Time (Commission)

  Riis-Jørgensen (ELDR).(DA) I listened with interest to the discussion this morning about food safety and have a question to put to the Commission: is it the precautionary principle which is now to be tested by the Commission in connection with the hormone war with the USA? I do not feel convinced that there are scientific proofs to justify our maintaining the ban on imports of hormone-treated meat. Nor did I hear the Commissioner substantiate any possible scientific proof. I only heard that the Commissioner did not wish to propose that the ban be lifted. Can we be certain that there will in fact be scientific proof to justify continuing with the ban on hormone-treated meat? That is the first question.

The second question is this: how can one be certain that, in the forthcoming World Trade Organisation negotiations in Seattle, problems do not arise with the USA and, in general, with the negotiations concerning free trade if Europe continues to stand by what is, in my view, an unscientific ban on imports of hormone-treated meat?

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