The European Union has driven U.S. cattlemen nuts with claims U.S. beef produced with growth hormones may be "harmful" to Europeans.

However, the claim only is a red herring for the EU to hide behind as an excuse for its protectionist trade stance.

The EU finally is getting a a taste of its own medicine.

EU beef, meat and other animal products are being avoided by many world markets, due to the prevalence of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in several EU countries.

The U.S. implemented its ban prohibiting virtually all EU meat products, except cooked hams, from entering this country. The EU has protested this ban vehemently, arguing that it is an overreaching, unfair trade barrier that is not based on sound science.

That is the same argument the EU has made against U.S. beef for years. After countless studies, the EU remains incapable of proving that U.S. beef is not safe. Now, when a clear, scientifically proven threat exists in the EU, it wants the U.S. to look the other way and import EU animal products.

That shouldn't happen.

Even if the EU comes forward in a couple of months and says FMD has been eliminated, should we believe them?

How do we know the EU products are really safe?

Wouldn't it be better for the U.S. to continue doing its tests until we can be absolutely sure of EU product safety?

Surely it will take several studies over five or 10 years before the products can be proven safe. Maybe then, the EU will be willing to reconsider the importation of U.S. beef. In the meantime, let's hope the EU enjoys the sour taste in its mouth.

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