07 June 1999
Belgian food scare forces government to stop campaigning

The Belgian government has halted its campaign for the 13 June election, to deal with the its food contamination scare.

Egypt and Kuwait have joined the ranks of countries curbing imports of Belgian meat and poultry, while Singapore said it was widening its ban on food imports from Europe to all dairy products after earlier suspending imports of meat and egg products.

The bans came despite new measures from Belgium to reassure consumers.

Jean-Luc Dehaene, prime minister, said he would suspend campaigning for next weeks poll because of fears over dioxin, a cancer-causing chemical, which has virtually halted Belgiums meat industry.

Belgiums response to the food scare is the subject of a letter to The Daily Telegraph, which claims that as long ago as February last year it had been reported that milk produced in the country contained dioxins. The writer asks why Belgian authorities had not acted earlier.

France is to give the European Commission details by today (Monday) of its measures to stop dioxin-tainted food reaching customers. The promise was given as Jean Glavany, the agriculture minister, responded angrily to suggestions from the commission that France had been slow to act.

  • The Times 07/06/99 page 10
  • The Independent 07/06/99 page 13
  • Financial Times 07/06/99 page 4 (News Digest)
  • The Daily Telegraph 07/06/99 page 12
  • The Herald 07/06/99 page 10