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Certain Measures Affecting Poultry Meat and Poultry Meat Products from the United States

Key Facts
Short Title: EC — EC Poultry SPS
Respondent: European Communities
Third Parties: European Communities;
Complaintant(s): United States;
Dispute Number: DS389
Link to Dispute Site: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds389_e.htm
Dispute Status: Pending

On January 16, 2009, the United States requested consultations regarding certain EU measures that prohibit the import of poultry meat and poultry meat products that have been processed with chemical treatments designed to reduce the amount of microbes on poultry meat, unless such pathogen reduction treatments (“PRTs”) have been approved.  The EU further prohibits the marketing of poultry meat and poultry meat products if they have been processed with PRTs.  In December 2008, the EU formally rejected the approval of four PRTs whose approval had been requested by the United States, despite the fact that EU scientists have repeatedly concluded that poultry meat and poultry meat products treated with any of these four PRTs does not present a health risk to European consumers.  The EU’s maintenance of its import ban and marketing regulation against PRT poultry appears to be inconsistent with its obligations under the SPS Agreement, the Agreement on Agriculture, the GATT 1994, and the TBT Agreement.  Consultations were held on February 11, 2009, but those consultations failed to resolve the dispute.  The United States requested the establishment of a panel on October 8, 2009, and the DSB established a panel on November 19, 2009.