The following statement was issued today by Steven G. Warshaw, President and Chief Operating Officer of Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB), in response to the recently issued European Commission banana proposal:"The European Commission's 'first-come, first-serve' proposal does not conform with international trade law and therefore cannot be a legal basis to end the banana trade dispute. The proposal -- which would impose a 'simultaneous examination' licensing system similar to a license lottery -- would perpetuate, and indeed accentuate, the discrimination existing in the current regime. As such, the scheme would fail to bring the European Union into compliance with rulings issued since 1993 by seven international panels convened by the GATT and WTO."The United States, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and ACP banana-producing countries in the Caribbean and Africa, as well as numerous European member states and companies, have voiced opposition to the Commission's illegal scheme. They are asking the Commission to abandon this proposal in favor of a WTO-compatible program based on a tariff quota that recognizes historic trade flows for Latin American, Caribbean and African banana imports to Europe."Chiquita is a leading international marketer, producer and distributor of quality fresh fruits and vegetables and processed foods.