Hormon treated food

(Photo: European Commission)

The European Union had banned hormone treated food since 1998.

The same year the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled against them, saying that there was not sufficient evidence that hormone treated food was a health risk. The situation was further complicated when "hormone free" meat from the US was discovered to contain hormones. Washington promised to tighten controls.

In 1999 the WTO authorised the US to impose trade sanctions against the EU. In the summer of 1999, the EU and US came to an agreement on the framework for solving food trade disputes, such as a mutual recognition of animal health and meat product inspection regulations.