Bernard A. Weisberger’s column in the July/August issue (“In the News”) is certainly timely. The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) has just fired another salvo in the trade war that is brewing over the European Community’s refusal to permit imports of American beef from animals treated with growth hormones.
For almost twenty years U.S. military commissaries in Europe have purchased beef from European suppliers to sell to American GIs and their dependents—some forty-eight million pounds a year, valued at up to sixty million dollars. The HASC wants the commissaries to substitute American beef for the European. The plan calls for the U.S. taxpayers to provide ten million dollars to defray the expense of shipping the American beef to Europe. The shipping time is expected to decrease the shelf life from forty-five to twenty days and require the purchase of additional refrigeration units to ensure a current supply.