The Hormone Conflict Between the EEC and the United States Within the Context of GATT

For many years, consumer organizations within the European Community have demanded the prohibition of natural and synthetic hormones from use in animal fodder. Since the level of hormone use by breeders varies among Member States, demands for a hormone prohibition have also differed in intensity from State to State. After lengthy negotiations beset with legal difficulties, a general, community-wide prohibition became reality at the beginning of 1989. The price of this policy has been trade difficulties with the United States which, up to the present time,’ have resulted in trade sanctions and economic losses on both sides. Since both parties have agreed to resolve future economic differences in a more rational manner, General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (“GATT”) related questions of international law that surfaced and were championed by both sides must be examined to clarify the role of the law in such cases. The following discussion will deal with these relevant issues.