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Canada has lost its appeal to the World Trade Organisation to overturn a French ban on the importation of white asbestos products on health grounds.

Canada, the world's second biggest exporter of asbestos, had tried to argue that the French ban was a restriction on free trade under WTO rules, but failed. The ruling is significant, because it clears away any legal threat to the planned imposition of an EU-wide ban on the use of white asbestos.

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