World Trade Organisation disputes panel has told the European Union to open its geographical indication protection system to traditionally made foodstuffs (and drinks) from non-EU countries.

The system currently protects EU-made products such as Parma ham and Brie cheese, insisting they are made in their home regions by traditional methods. However, the panel said that by excluding non-EU products from this system, such as Alberta beef or Florida oranges, the EU was breaking WTO rules.

The case was brought by Australia and the United States, who have claimed victory, although they had sought a tougher ruling undermining the overall legality of the EU's geographical indication protection. In this they were disappointed.