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Abstract

The long-running feud between the US and the EU was the first to be disputed formally at the WTO. It provides a classic example of how cultural differences with respect to food attributes have the potential to hamper trade and to challenge WTO agreements designed to limit the disruptions, especially when scientific evidence is limited or spurious. After outlining the legal arguments used by the parties to the Hormones dispute, simple economic models are used to represent the EU beef market and effects of the hormonetreated beef ban and its removal under certain conditions. The implications for the practical implementation of the SPS Agreement are then explored.

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