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Agri-Pulse reports:

The European Union will not budge on its regulations forbidding hormone-treated beef during trade negotiations, the European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht said Tuesday.

"We are not going to change our legislation," De Gucht said during an event at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C. "To be very clear, we are not going to import hormone beef. Because it would mean we would have to change our basic legislation, and we are not going to do it.

"We're not going to even make a legislative proposal for that because it has no support in Parliament, it has no support in the Commission. So we will keep and stick to our regulations."

De Gucht indicated that if the U.S. wants to increase its beef imports to the EU in the future, it will have to change the way meat is produced. "What will happen is what happened, for example, in Canada," he said. That country "put in place a hormone-free production line. It's as simple as that."

The commissioner attributed the EU's strict rules, which restricts the importation of much U.S.-raised beef, to Europe's "culture," which he said is "much more risk averse."

The EU's regulatory scheme operates according to the precautionary principle, which directs governments to restrict access to those technologies that they believe are not yet scientifically understood. U.S. scientists, argue that the science on genetically modified foods and hormone-treated beef - a few of the many technologies the EU rejects - is complete and proves those techniques are safe.

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