In light of the assumption that the use of hormones in promoting the growth of cattle may lead to risks to human health, European authorities began to enact regulations to prohibit the use of such hormones. The law also requires a trade ban over the meat carrying such veterinary drug residues. The United States and Canada, while permitting the use of hormones, suffered heavily from the trade restrictions. After the failure of consultations with Europe, these two countries filed a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO), alleging that the European measures violate the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS).

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