WASHINGTON — The Bush Administration will seek a compromise with the European Community this weekend in an effort to win a truce in the controversial trade skirmish over Europe's refusal to accept American beef that has been treated with growth-inducing hormones.
In a meeting with top European trade officials Saturday, U.S. negotiators are expected to propose that the United States temporarily provide Europe with hormone-free beef if the Europeans will agree to let a panel of neutral scientists judge whether the ban is justified on health grounds.
Threatening to Escalate
The United States, contending that growth-inducing hormones pose no health hazard, argues that they are used so early in the process that no residue is left when beef cattle are slaughtered.
In reality, according to U.S. officials, the hormone ban is nothing more than a trade barrier in disguise.
Most U.S. beef has been produced with growth-inducing hormones, and both the United States and Europe have banned domestic use of ones they consider hazardous.