The European Commission has scrapped the emergency testing regime that it imposed on US beef imports last year, to ensure that no meat was reaching the European Union market that contained the growth hormones, that have been at the centre of a long running World Trade Organisation dispute between Brussels and Washington.It has decided to order that checks should be made on every consignment of United States bovine meat and offal, after analysis of some imported fresh meat last April revealed the presence of growth hormones that are subject to a European Union ban. From that point onwards, all imports had to be detained pending favourable testing results.However, since this regime was introduced, no further cases of fresh meat contaminated with hormones have been identified. In addition, said a Commission statement, "the US authorities have also improved and extended the controls on production."As a result, Brussels today (27-9) has decided to order that in future, only 20 per cent of American beef consignments should be checked for the presence of banned hormones, which is in line with the normal level of inspections for all fresh meat imported from third countries.