16 November 1999
France announces provisional beef deal

By FWi staff

FRANCE has reached a provisional settlement with Britain that would allow it to lift its ban on British beef.

French agriculture minister Jean Glavany made the announcement during question time at the French national assembly, reports Reuters news agency.

However, Mr Glavany said there were a few more details still to be worked out.

He added that the French government would ask its food safety agency for advice before making a decision on whether to lift the embargo in accordance with EU law.

The French minister said progress had been made at resolving all five of the areas of concern that France had regarding the lifting of its ban on British beef.

France had raised concerns over traceability, labelling and BSE testing.

“We are waiting for details from the British about the tests within a few days or a few hours, Mr Glavany is reported to have told the assembly.

He also said France had obtained a European Commission guarantee that would allow every member state to demand that British beef be labelled for consumer purposes.

Although the EU lifted its three-and-a-half-year BSE ban in August, France and Germany have retained boycotts citing concerns about the safety of British beef.