09 August 1999
Dioxin tests threaten Belgian exports

BELGIUM is heading for a clash with the European Union over Brussels requirement that all of the countrys exported food with a fat content of more than 2% is tested for dioxin contamination.

The requirement, if implemented, is expected to virtually close down Belgiums export trade.

But there were indications over the weekend that it regarded the conditions imposed by the EU as so onerous that it might not carry them out.

This latest clash is the latest to hit Belgiums agriculture industry.

More than 1200 farms have been closed since the start of the crisis two months ago when it was discovered that animal feed had been contaminated with dioxin.

The government has already promised to destroy 115,000 tonnes of suspect, pork, beef and poultry.