At the time, the negotiation of the SPS agreement was seen as a major accomplishment of the Uruguay Round. One of the first major tests of both the SPS and the WTO’s new dispute settlement system was the long standing and acrimonious dispute between the EU and the US and Canada over trade in beef produced using hormones. Both the SPS and the disputes system performed as expected but the EU, the loser in the case, has chosen to ignore the WTO Panel’s ruling and accept retaliation. As a result, the credibility of the WTO is threatened and the outcome suggests that new negotiations may be required. The issues in the case are outlined and implications for trade in biological products drawn.