25 October 1999
EU pressed to ban French meat

By FWi staff

THE European Union is under increasing pressure to ban meat exports from France following revelations that French livestock are fed on sewage waste.

British agriculture minister Nick Brown is examining the possibility of temporarily suspending French meat exports, claims the London Evening Standard.

He is in urgent talks with David Byrne, the European food safety commissioner, with a view to getting French exports banned across Europe.

Tony Blairs official spokesman said Mr Brown would be raising last Fridays European Commission report on the feeding of human waste to animals in France.

“Nick Brown wants the commissions urgent assessment as to whether or not there is a need for a temporary EU ban,” the spokesman told the paper.

“He wants the assessment immediately – ie now.”

Mr Brown would also underline Britains fury over Frances continuing refusal to accept imports of British beef, said the spokesman.

Downing Street has so far refused to bow to demands by the Conservative opposition that French produce should be banned until France accepts British beef.

Ministers say they do not want to engage in a damaging tit-for-tat trade war, claiming they are able to abide by European free trade rules, even if France is not.

Mr Brown has begun his own personal boycott of French produce, but has not yet been joined by Cabinet colleagues.