September 24, 1999

1 Min Read
USDA Develops Third-Party Certification Standards for EU Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Program

WASHINGTON--The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), both divisions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed specific standards for a third-party certification system for the European Union (EU) Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Program (NHTC) in a meeting Sept. 9.

The EU is adamant about accepting beef and veal for import that has not been treated with hormonal growth promotants. The NHTC, though installed in 1989, was suspended in July of 1999 because of concerns that the proper controls were not in place. The Sept. meeting was held to put those controls back in place and reestablish certification for exports to the EU, along with EU trust.

The meeting established that certifying bodies should comply with ISO Guide 65, "General Requirements for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems." The meeting also established that third parties interested in providing certification that assures conformance to EU requirements must apply for AMS accreditation by completing Form LS-314, Application for Service.

As a result of the meeting, certain criteria regarding the raising and slaughtering of cattle must be met. Those incude analyzing the meat for melengestrol acetate (MGA), trenbolone and zeranol. Urine and kidney fat samples will also be collected. Upon completing and passing the AMS audits, the FSIS will resume beef exports to the EU on a case-by-case basis.

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