Re: Ice Cream and BSt -Reply
Bob MacGregor (RDMACGREGOR@gov.pe.ca)
Wed, 14 Jan 1998 12:15:19 -0400
I think if the Canadian government had some special knowledge about the
safety of rBST they would have banned it, rather than just deferring
approval. The main impetus for deferring approval comes, in my opinion,
from the supply-management system in Canada. The dairy farmers just
don't need to be able to produce more milk. As a corollary to this,
claiming that rBST use in the US somehow makes US milk different from
Canadian milk strengthens Canadian efforts to restrict the movement of
US milk and milk products into Canada. Finally, it also buys the Canadian
authorities the time to see a couple of years of empirical, field results
from use in the US, rather than the more limited research results available
at the time approval was sought.
As agreements are negotiated to remove more traditional barriers to
international trade, such as tariffs and import quotas, these public health
and phyto-sanitary standards become the preferred mechanism for trade
restriction (that is, a country claims its standards are higher than in
competing countries and restricts imports from those countries).
Unfortunately, the more they are used for this purpose (ie, trade
restriction) the harder it becomes to tell which are valid, public health
reasons vs just plain protectionism. It is a kind of "crying wolf"
syndrome that won't really help anyone in the long run.
(yep, these are my opinions, and do not necessarily reflect those of my
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