This paper studies two episodes where a ban on imports was imposed to safeguard people`s health. The rst case is the poisoned grapes crisis involving Chile and the United States in 1989. The second is the «mad cows» dispute, which broke out in 1996, between the United Kingdom and the European Union. These case studies motivate a new denition of «protectionist measure» which is applied to argue that the European Union`s ban on British beef exports was not protectionist, while the US ban on Chilean fruit possibly classies as such a measure.
Keywords: "Ban on exports; non-tari trade barrier; protectionism; protectionist measure."