18 February 1998
EU hits out at Australian meat inspection plans

The European Union (EU) has threatened to reject exports of Australian meat if the Australian Government goes ahead with plans to privatise its meat inspection services.

Australias Project 2 would decentralise meat inspection services. This would greatly reduce the Governments inspection role and give companies more responsibility for meat safety and quality.

The Australian National Meat Association indicated it would mount a strong campaign to change the EU stance.

Meat exports under the regime would contravene an EU directive regulating exports from non-member countries. The directive requires a high level of government involvement in inspections.

The US Food Safety and Inspection Service initially objected to the plan, but has since agreed to a modified proposal acceptable to both countries.

  • Financial Times 18/02/98 page 7