Vealers under scrutiny in Europe, too

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 1996:

BRUSSELS––Concerned about the
use of illegal growth hormones in livestock
generally, and increasingly aware, as well,
of animal welfare issues, the European
Union moved recently to address both issues.
EU Farm Commissioner Franz
Fischler on November 29 convened a threeday
conference to review the EU rules on the
use of illegal meat growth hormones. On the
one hand, there is strong sentiment for maintaining
stiff standards and cracking down on
a “hormone Mafia” whose activity last year
included the assassination on the job of
Belgian animal health inspector Karrel Van

On the other hand, the U.S. government,
which permits the use of certain
steroids to enhance livestock growth, has
threatened to make a formal complaint to the
World Trade Organization in Geneva if the
longstanding EU ban on imports of all hormone-treated
meat is not amended to give
U.S. farmers access to European markets.
Even EU representatives who favor
freer rules on imports of hormone-treated
meat are concerned that any move to allow
hormone-treated meat to move freely could
permit the “hormone Mafia” to operate with
greater latitude, under the cover of the legal
European Consumers Organization
food officer Kees de Winter urged the EU to
stand firm. “Consumers do not want artificial
substances to be used in agricultural production
if they are not necessary or if they do not
offer any benefits to consumers,” he said.
“The fact is that the use of hormones in meat
provides no benefit for consumers.”
Phase out veal crates
On December 15, meanwhile, the
European Commission, the executive body
for the EU, adopted a report calling for the
phase-out of individual veal crates by no later
than 2008, and arguing that calves should be
given a balanced diet.
The report wasn’t actually due for
another two years, but was issued early as
result of pressure from Britain, Germany,
Denmark, Austria, and Sweden. The major
veal-producing nations, notably France, the
Netherlands, and Italy, are expected to resist
any move to actually ban veal crating.

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.