Select Committee on European Scrutiny Fifth Report





Draft Council Resolution on the standardisation of DNA technology and the exchange of DNA analysis results.
Legal base:
Department: Home Office
Basis of consideration: Minister's letters to Lord Tordoff of 29 November 2000 and 18 January 2001
Previous Committee Report: HC 23-xxviii (1999-2000), paragraph 8 (1 November 2000)
To be discussed in Council: 15-16 March 2001
Committee's assessment: Politically important
Committee's decision: Not cleared; further information requested


  5.1  This draft Council Resolution encourages all Member States to adopt, as a minimum, the same seven DNA markers for forensic DNA profiling so that intelligence can be shared for comparative purposes in the fight against crime. It was originally put forward by the Finnish Presidency following reservations from several representatives at the Police Co-operation Working Group about an earlier proposal for a framework decision on the same subject (not deposited). Most of the reservations were concerned with the binding nature of the proposed measure.

  5.2  When we considered the document in November, we asked for clarification on two aspects of it, and maintained the scrutiny reserve. The Minister of State at the Home Office (Mrs Barbara Roche) has now written twice to our sister Committee in the House of Lords, addressing our questions among a number of others from that Committee, which had invited views from several organisations and from the Data Protection Commissioner.

The Minister's response

— Data protection

  5.3  Our main concern was the lack of any provision about data protection in the body of the Resolution, given the inherently personal nature of DNA information. We asked for reassurance that the information to be exchanged would be adequately protected. In response, the Minister emphasises, in both her letters, that the aim of the document is to define common markers for DNA profiling. In her letter of 18 January, she says:

"Clearly data protection is important but the Draft Council Resolution is not seeking to alter the basis for data protection or the standards governing the disclosure of DNA material."

  5.4  On the related question of whether the Government accepted the need for some form of agreement setting out the relevant data protection standards before DNA analysis results could be exchanged ( a recommendation of the Data Protection Commissioner), the Minister says (again in her January letter):

"This is a question that needs to be addressed independently from the Draft Council Resolution — since a number of countries already have DNA databases which use common markers and the conditions already exist under which DNA information can be exchanged. The current position is to rely upon the Data Protection Act 1998 and the other relevant documents listed in the recitals of this Draft Council Resolution."

— The involvement of Europol

  5.5  We had asked the Minister to explain the anomaly whereby, despite her statement that no decision had been made about the role of Europol in the context of the Resolution, the standard form annexed to the document assumed its involvement. With her November letter, the Minister encloses a later version of the document in which the reference to Europol on the form has been removed. She tells us that the text has also been revised to clarify the situation, explaining:

"This Draft Council Resolution does not seek to extend the powers or remit of Europol — merely to consider whether facilitating the exchange of DNA profiles would fall within the remit agreed for it."

In addition, in her January letter, the Minister undertakes to bring to the attention of the scrutiny Committees any proposal to place a server at Europol for the sharing of data among Member States.


  5.6  We thank the Minister for sending us the revised version of this proposal, which clarifies the role of Europol.

  5.7  We do not, however, think that she has grasped the nature of our concern about data protection. We accept that the aim of the document is to encourage standardisation of markers, and that it does not involve any change to data protection rules. However, its aim is to enable the exchange of information, and the uncertainty about the applicability of the current rules leaves us far from confident that this will be adequately protected. Moreover, we do not understand why the Minister considers that the question of relevant data protection standards needs to be addressed independently from this measure. In our view, the document itself should identify appropriate minimum standards of protection for the exchange of DNA analysis results. We ask the Minister to explain the Government's position.

  5.8  Meanwhile, we do not clear the document.




COM(00) 320

Draft Directive amending Council Directive 96/22/EC concerning the prohibition on the use in stockfeeding of certain substances having a hormonal or thyrostatic action and beta-agonists.
Legal base: Article 152(4)(b) EC; co-decision; qualified majority voting
Document originated: 24 May 2000
Forwarded to the Council: 3 July 2000
Deposited in Parliament: 25 July 2000
Department: Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Basis of consideration: SEM of 20 January 2001
Previous Committee Report: HC 23-xxix (1999-2000), paragraph 8 (15 November 2000)
To be discussed in Council: Following receipt of European Parliament opinion
Committee's assessment: Politically important
Committee's decision: Not cleared; further information requested


  6.1  Council Directive 96/22/EC[12] regulates the use in stockfeeding within the Community of certain substances having a hormonal or thyrostatic[13] action and beta-agonists,[14] and the main effect of the complex series of provisions described in paragraphs 8.1 and 8.2 of our Report of 15 November 2000 is to ban the use of hormone growth promoters in food-producing animals, and hence in meat, except for therapeutic purposes or zootechnical treatment.[15]

  6.2  Broadly speaking, these restrictions also apply to animal products imported from third countries. This in turn led to a dispute with the United States and Canada, on which the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dispute Settlement body ruled in February 1998 that the steps taken by the Community were in breach of the WTO's rules, essentially because they had been based on general studies rather than the particular risks thought to arise from the use of growth hormones.

  6.3  As a result of that ruling, the Commission initiated assessments of six hormonal substances (oestradiol 17, testosterone, progesterone, trenblone acetate, zeranol and melengestrol acetate) whose administration for animal growth promotion purposes is prohibited by Directive 96/22/EC. The Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health (SCVPH) concluded in April 1999 that the use of these hormones in cattle for growth promotion purposes posed a risk to consumers, and it also took the view that oestradiol 17 has to be considered as a complete carcinogen, as it exerts both tumour-initiating and tumour-promoting effects. However, the UK's own Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) advised in October 1999 that the scientific evidence in the SCVPH report did not support the Community ban on the use of hormonal growth promoters. Concern was also expressed about certain conclusions reached by the SCVPH.

  6.4  This led the SCVPH in turn to review the position in the light of the VPC's comments, and of observations from the Commission's own Committee on Veterinary Medical Products (CVMP) and the Joint Food and Agriculture Organisation/World Health Organisation Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). However, in a final opinion issued on 3 May 2000, the SCVPH concluded that "this recent information did not provide convincing data and arguments demanding revision of the conclusions drawn in the opinion of the SCVPH of 30 April 1999".

  6.5  Against this background, the Commission proposed in May 2000 that oestradiol 17 and its derivatives should be banned in food-producing animals, and its use allowed in non-food-producing animals only where there is no alternative treatment. The five other growth-promoting hormones would continue to be prohibited for use for growth-promoting purposes, but would still be available for certain therapeutic and zootechnical purposes, subject to strict controls. The position would, however, be provisional, pending the availability of more complete scientific evidence.

  6.6  As we noted in our earlier Report, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman) told us that the Government does not consider that the scientific case for a ban has been made, and hence does not support this proposal. She added that this position will remain unchanged unless new scientific evidence is made available for full evaluation by independent UK experts, but that the UK will nevertheless continue to fulfil its Community obligations by enforcing such proposals as may be agreed by the Council. In the meantime, the Minister went on to say that prohibiting the use of oestradiol 17 for zootechnical purposes would create problems for veterinarians, and that the Commission has said it will draw up a list of alternative treatments before the Directive comes into force. She commented that, until it has done so, it will not be possible to tell the effect of this proposal, and that a Regulatory Impact Assessment cannot therefore be provided at this stage. However, she suggested that the costs of removing oestradiol 17 "are not likely to be substantial".

  6.7  In the conclusion to our Report, we said that, whilst we accepted that there was room for legitimate differences in scientific interpretation, it was disturbing that there should apparently be such a gulf between the views expressed by the SCVPH and those of other expert bodies such as the VPC over oestradiol 17. We therefore asked whether these differences were simply over the appropriate action to be taken, or if they extended to the fundamental question of whether oestradiol 17 should be regarded as a carcinogen. Pending clarification of this point, and of the Government providing a Regulatory Impact Assessment, we said that we were not clearing the document.

Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum of 20 January 2001

  6.8  In her Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum of 20 January 2001, the Minister confirms that the issue arising on oestradiol 17 is essentially whether or not it should be regarded as a carcinogen. She says that a sub-group of the VPC found evidence of a link between overall meat and fat consumption and the occurrence of common cancers, but that a link with small traces of hormones has not been directly examined. However, she adds that the tumours are found in both men and women, and occur widely in countries where hormonal growth promoters are not permitted. The sub-group also concluded that the likely levels of consumer exposure to oestradiol 17 resulting from their use in growth promoters were "very low in comparison with the amounts of these hormones produced naturally by the bodies of some people". She reiterates that the Government believes that policy in areas such as this must be underpinned by the best possible scientific advice, that it continues to take the view that the SCVPH has not answered any of the scientific arguments put forward by eminent groups such as the CVMP and JECFA, and that, until the SCVPH does so, the Government cannot support this proposal.

  6.9  The Minister has also now provided us with a Regulatory Impact Assessment, but, as the Commission has yet to come forward with a list of alternative treatments and more precise details of these, it does little more than confirm that, although the costs are not thought to be substantial, it is not possible to predict the effect of the proposal on the UK. The Assessment does, however, make the point that alternatives to the three authorised veterinary medicinal products containing oestradiol 17 have been identified by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, but that these are considered to be inferior. The veterinary profession in the UK would therefore strongly resist the removal of these three products. The Assessment also says that the Government will consult on the eventual implementation of the proposed Directive "when it is transposed into national legislation, at which point details of alternative treatments should be available".


  6.10  Whilst we are grateful to the Minister for this further information, we have two main concerns about this proposal. First, we understand the Minister's view that policy should be underpinned by the best possible scientific advice. The problem arises, of course, in cases such as this where that advice is not clear-cut, and policy makers thus have to choose between conflicting advice. In this case, we simply note that the United Kingdom places greater weight on the views of the Veterinary Products Committee and others than on the reservations expressed by the Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health.

  6.11  Secondly, we remain concerned that the Commission has yet to come forward with details of alternative treatments, and in particular about the suggestion in the Regulatory Impact Assessment that these details may not be available until the Directive is transposed into national legislation. Whatever view one might take of the basic case for banning oestradiol 17, it does seem essential that the practical implications of any decision to do so are clearly understood, and we would like to know whether the Government will be pressing the Commission to provide its information on alternative treatments before the proposal is agreed. In the meantime, we are not clearing the proposal.




COM(00) 576

Commission Communication: Bringing our needs and responsibilities together — Integrating environmental issues with economic policy.
Legal base:
Document originated: 20 September 2000
Forwarded to the Council: 22 September 2000
Deposited in Parliament: 11 October 2000
Department: HM Treasury
Basis of consideration: EM of 16 January 2001
Previous Committee Report: None
Discussed in Council: November 2000
Committee's assessment: Politically important
Committee's decision: Not cleared; further information requested


  7.1  In June 1998, the Cardiff European Council invited all relevant formations of the Council to establish their own strategies for integrating environmental issues and sustainable development into their respective policy areas. Strategies have already been presented by the Agriculture, Transport and Energy Councils. In June 1999, the Cologne European Council called upon the Council to report to it in 2000 on the integration of environmental issues and sustainable development in the policy areas of General Affairs, Economic and Financial Questions, and Fisheries. At the Helsinki European Council last year, the Council was requested to present a comprehensive strategy for environmental integration and sustainable development to the Gothenburg European Council in June 2001. This would bring together the reports from all sectoral Councils.

The document

  7.2  This document is a Communication from the Commission setting out its proposals for integrating environmental issues with economic policy. It was considered by ECOFIN at the end of last year. ECOFIN reported on the subject to the Nice European Council in September.

  7.3  The Commission notes the commitment of the Lisbon European Council in March 2000 to the Community becoming "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion". It notes also that the Amsterdam Treaty required the integration of environmental protection into Community policies in order to achieve sustainable development. The Commission points to existing Community "tools", in particular the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines, as a means of gradual, but credible, progress towards integrating environmental concerns into economic policies. It argues that one of the reasons why environmental considerations are insufficiently incorporated in economic policy formulation is that economic policy is essentially concerned with macro- economic stability and the functioning of markets, whilst many environmental problems arise precisely because there are no markets in environmental goods and services. As a result there is often a mismatch between private and public or social costs. It identifies the kinds of instruments which could be used to create markets or improve the functioning of them. It argues that market-based instruments can provide more flexible and efficient ways of improving environmental protection than more traditional regulatory means. However, the choice of policy instrument should always be tailored to the precise environmental problem to be addressed.

  7.4  The Communication discusses the risk that adoption by the Community of a stronger environmental aspect in its economic policies will reduce its international competitiveness. It recognises that a gradual approach will be necessary but believes that fears of reduced international competitiveness may be exaggerated. It notes that international efforts to tackle certain environmental problems, such as climate change, require other developed countries to act similarly. It notes also that the majority of goods and services produced in the Community are consumed there and that existing differences in tax structures suggest that these are only one of many relevant factors for international investment decisions.

  7.5  The Communication also notes that the strategy should include appropriate structural methods, such as retraining and other support for workers in affected industries, if moves to improve environmental integration are to remain socially and politically acceptable.

  7.6  The Communication says that the Commission will intensify its effort to devise a detailed set of indicators for the Community economy on the use and effectiveness of economic instruments on environmentally-harmful policies and measures, on the value of the environment, and on "environmental" industry.

  7.7  The Commission's conclusions include the following recommendations:

  • there should be "a transparent, gradual, credible approach" based on analysis of the scientific evidence and the cost and benefits of action or lack of action;

  • integration of environmental issues with economic policy should be consistent with the strategy for sustainable development which the European Council intends to adopt in June 2001;

  • examination of the environmental impacts of economic activity should be integrated into the process of multi-lateral surveillance of structural reform;

  • the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines should fully incorporate the objectives of environmental integration;

  • reviews of the quality and sustainability of public finances should include an assessment of the efficiency of economic instruments in achieving their environmental objectives; and

  • there should be an increased use of an appropriate mix of market-based instruments and regulations.

  7.8  The Conclusions also call for the Council to examine the positive and negative environmental impacts of national taxation systems. The Commission says that this will "help in setting priorities for environmentally sound fiscal reforms". It calls for a co-ordinated approach within the Community to the implementation of the "polluter pays" principle, whether by taxation or by other market instruments, to help address concerns about competitiveness between Member States. With that in mind, it also calls for the use of qualified majority voting for environmental taxation.

The Government's view

  7.9  In her Explanatory Memorandum of 16 January 2001, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Miss Melanie Johnson) notes that much environmental policy is agreed at European level, including many air and water quality issues. She says that "the Government believes that sound economic analysis and an approach focussed on outcomes are important in order to ensure the EU formulates policies which are consistent with sustainable development and that the costs of policies are more than offset by the benefits. ... The Government would be in favour of the Commission bringing forward guidelines on the standard methodology to be used when carrying out cost-benefit appraisals." The Minister notes that the Inter-Governmental Conference at Nice in December rejected any extension of qualified majority voting into taxation matters. She says that the Government has opposed previous proposals for the harmonisation of environmental taxes under the "polluter pays" principle and that, for those reasons, the Government would be "cautious about the proposed examination by the Council of the positive and negative environmental impacts of national taxation systems".


  7.10  The Commission's paper seems to us to present a useful analysis of the possible approaches to incorporating environmental considerations into economic policies. We note the intention to work within the existing structures for economic co-ordination (in particular, the broad economic policy guidelines) and the new open method of co-ordination at all levels, as endorsed by the Lisbon European Council last year. In that regard we note also the Government's caution about the proposal that the Council should examine the positive and negative environmental impacts of national taxation systems. Whilst we fully understand the Government's position that taxation should remain primarily a matter for Member States, with all Community decisions being on the basis of unanimity, it does not seem to us to follow that a comparative analysis would put that approach at risk, particularly in the light of the endorsement of unanimity in tax matters resulting from the recent Inter Governmental Conference. Indeed, such a study would seem to us to be consistent with the new open method of co-ordination and learning from best practice agreed by the Lisbon European Council.

  7.11  We note that this Communication has already been discussed by ECOFIN, and a report has been made by ECOFIN to the Nice European Council. We are concerned that the Communication was published in September but we received no Explanatory Memorandum about it before it was considered by ECOFIN. Nor have we seen the subsequent ECOFIN report to the Nice European Council. We do not know what views ECOFIN put to the European Council, including any conclusions it may have reached on the Commission's recommendations. The Minister offers no explanation for her failure to provide us with an Explanatory Memorandum before ECOFIN considered this document. We now request that she does so without delay and that she provides us with a copy of the ECOFIN report to the Nice Council. We would also like to know whether or not it is intended that the Council should undertake the proposed study of the positive and negative environmental impacts of national taxation systems. We ask the Minister also to explain the processes which the Council will now follow in compiling a comprehensive report on this subject, taking account of the reports from sectoral Councils. Meanwhile, we do not clear the document.




COM(00) 578

Draft Directive on minimum standards for procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status.
Legal base: Article 63 EC; consultation; unanimity
Document originated: 20 September 2000
Forwarded to the Council: 24 October 2000
Deposited in Parliament: 20 November 2000
Department: Home Office
Basis of consideration: EM of 6 December 2000 and SEM of 22 January 2001
Previous Committee Report: None; but see (19927) SEC (1999): HC 34-xvii (1998-99), paragraph 16 (28 April 1999)
To be discussed in Council: No date set
Committee's assessment: Politically important
Committee's decision: Not cleared; awaiting further information on progress


  8.1  Nearly two years ago, we cleared the Commission's working paper, Towards common standards for asylum procedures.[16] Following discussions on that paper in the Council and in the European Parliament, and comments from a number of NGOs, the Commission has drawn up this draft Directive. It is designed to introduce minimum standards for granting or withdrawing refugee status, as provided for in Article 63(1)(d) EC. Under the terms of the Treaty, measures which set such minimum standards should be adopted by May 2004.

  8.2  As the legal base falls within Title IV of the EC Treaty, the UK has three months from the formal publication of the proposal in which to decide whether to opt in to the measure (in accordance with the provisions in the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland now annexed to the EC Treaty and the Treaty on European Union).

The document

  8.3  The Commission's explanatory memorandum states that, although the proposal sets minimum standards, it will not require Member States to apply uniform procedures. Moreover, as this is the first measure on asylum procedures, derogations from certain rules are allowed. The draft Directive is restricted to those claiming refugee status under the Geneva Convention,[17] and does not cover those seeking protection from treatment prohibited by Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.[18]

  8.4  The proposal covers the procedures for examining, accepting and rejecting asylum claims. It consists of three sets of provisions:

  • procedural guarantees for asylum applications. Two of the most important of these are that the applicant must have the right to appeal against a decision in the first instance, and that he must be informed at key points of the procedure, in a language which he understands, of his legal position. Others cover procedures for personal interviews, and criteria for detention. Specific guarantees are set out for persons with special needs, such as unaccompanied minors.

  • minimum requirements for the decision-making process. These include the various authorities needed to ensure a fair system; the training and access to advice required by decision-making personnel; investigative standards for decision-making; and the need for full reasons for adverse decisions to be stated.

  • standards for the application of certain concepts and practices. These address such concepts as "inadmissible applications", "manifestly unfounded applications", "safe country of origin" and "safe third country". If Member States choose to apply any of these, they will be expected to follow the common framework — including definitions, criteria and timescales — laid down in the document.

The Government's view

  8.5  The Minister of State at the Home Office (Mrs Barbara Roche) has submitted two Explanatory Memoranda on this document, a preliminary one in December, supplemented by another in January which contains a more detailed analysis of the Government's position following an exchange of views in the relevant Council working group.

  8.6  In both Memoranda, the Minister welcomes the draft Directive as the first major step towards establishing minimum standards for asylum policy and practice across the Union. She considers that more consistent treatment of asylum seekers will lead to reduced secondary movement between Member States.

  8.7  In the first Explanatory Memorandum, she says:

"The Government considers that there may be scope for a more harmonised approach than that proposed, particularly in the areas of setting time limits for the asylum process and in terms of a common approach to the designation of safe third countries and safe countries of origin.

"The Government also considers that measures under Article 63 TEC should ideally include those seeking subsidiary forms of international protection as well as those applying for asylum within the terms of the 1951 Geneva Convention. It is expected that this issue, and those issues raised above amongst others, will be the subject of detailed discussions in the relevant Council working groups."

  8.8  The Minister expands on the Government's position in the Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum, telling us:

"The Government is confident that the UK will be able to meet the principles set down in the draft Directive. However, the Government is concerned to ensure that the draft Directive does not inadvertently create delays which would obstruct our domestic drive towards faster and more efficient procedures. We expect to press for minimum standards which, inter alia, enable rapid resolution of asylum claims, which we consider to be to the benefit of all parties concerned.

"On the basis of the current text, the key areas of concern to the Government are as follows:

Early stage procedures

"Articles 7-9 deal with the provision of information, interviews, advice and representation. These articles provide that in most circumstances applicants should, inter alia, have an opportunity for a personal interview, and a right to receive information in a language which he or she understands. In both cases, there is a potential for a delay which we consider could be avoided without any reduction in standards.

"On interviewing, the Government's view is that there are circumstances in which it is not necessarily appropriate to interview an applicant, for example where the applicant is too young or mentally unfit, or where the applicant has failed to attend an appointment for interview without good reason. The Directive appears to allow for this but may need some further clarification.

"On the provision of information, the Immigration and Nationality Directorate currently produces a range of documentary information for asylum seekers in English only. We accept that it would be desirable as far as possible to use a language which the applicant understands. But again there is the potential for delays and, in this case, for a considerable increase in costs. We judge that the most practicable solution would be to provide generic information about procedures in a variety of languages, whilst continuing to provide individual letters about the status of a particular application in the language of the Member State only. We are already in the process of producing explanatory leaflets in 62 languages on asylum procedures".


"Article 11 of the draft Directive deals with the criteria for detaining asylum seekers. The Government will be seeking to clarify the scope and purpose of the Article. The Government believes that there are circumstances in which detention is justified for the purpose of establishing the identity of applicants and dealing with their asylum claim. This appears to be envisaged by Article 11 but is likely to require amendment to put the matter beyond doubt and to ensure that the procedures apply to applicants seeking to remain in the country as well as those seeking to enter. Similarly the article appears to omit the possibility of detention at the end of the process in order to effect removal; and this too requires clarification.


"Chapter V of the draft Directive deals with appeals procedures. The Government has two key concerns about this chapter.

"Firstly, Article 33 appears to give suspensive effect to appeals against removals to other Member States in admissibility cases (in other words, cases in which another Member State is considered to be responsible for considering the application, a decision which would currently be made under the terms of the Dublin Convention). There is currently a non-suspensive right of appeal in the UK in such circumstances, unless a human rights appeal is pending ... and a certificate has not been issued by the Secretary of State .... that the allegation is manifestly unfounded. The introduction of a suspensive right appeal could add to the existing obstacles to transfers under the Dublin Convention... We will be pressing for amendments .... to ensure that the Dublin Convention and its successor are able to operate as intended.

"Secondly, the Government has some concerns about the time limits proposed for the appeal process. In particular, Article 34 sets a minimum time limit of 20 working days in which an applicant must submit grounds of appeal in ordinary substantive cases. We consider that this could add an unacceptable delay to the process in many cases and we will be pressing for the necessary amendments in order to ensure that both the applicant and the appeal authorities are required to act swiftly."

  8.9  The Minister informs us that it is unlikely that a text of the proposal will be presented for adoption in Council until the latter half of 2001.


  8.10  We support the Minister in her welcome for this draft Directive as the first major step towards establishing minimum standards for asylum policy and practice across the European Union. We recognise that negotiations are just beginning and many issues need detailed discussion in a range of fora. At this stage, therefore, we merely urge the Minister not to make speed an overwhelming priority. While we share her concern that the United Kingdom's domestic procedures should be made faster and more efficient, we consider that a proper balance must be struck between the avoidance of delay and the thorough and fair examination of cases.

  8.11  At a later stage of negotiations, we may wish to recommend this proposal for debate. We therefore ask the Minister for a progress report in good time before any Council at which political agreement may be sought. We also ask to be informed about whether or not the Government proposes to opt in to the proposal. In the meantime we do not clear the document.

12  OJ No. L 125, 23.5.96, p.3. Back

13  Thyrostatic substances reduce the activity of the thyroid gland, which affects metabolism. A decrease in metabolic rate manifests in a number of ways, including an increase in body weight. Back

14  Beta-agonists give a positive response when combined with a specific receptor site in the body, and can also promote the production of lean meat in treated animals. Back

15  Zootechnical treatment means administering to a farm animal a substance for synchronizing oestrus and preparing donors and recipients for the implantation of embryos. Back

16  (19927) SEC (1999); see headnote to this paragraph. Back

17  Convention relating to the status of refugees done at Geneva on 28 July 1951, as complemented by the New York Protocol of 31 January 1967. Back

18  Article 3 ECHR provides that 'No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment'. A decision to return an applicant to a country where such treatment is to be expected would also fall within Article 3 ECHR. Back

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