7 November 2000
French beef goes missing in UK

By FWi staff

BRITAIN has imported more than 1440 tonnes of French beef this year, but it cannot be traced, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The meat, worth 2.2 million, is believed to have gone into meat pies and processed foods, as all major retailers deny selling French beef.

While British beef has stringent traceability rules, EU free trade rules do not require that meat be fully traced.

On Monday (06 November) Jim Paice, Tory deputy farming spokesman, renewed demands for a total ban on French beef imports.

This revelation comes as fears sweep France that BSE is more widespread there than was previously reported.

Several education authorities have banned beef from their menus, and abattoirs in the Loire region have reported a 50% drop in activity.

The French government intends to ban animal feed containing cattle remains, which is legal in France for fattening pigs and poultry, reports The Independent.

The newspaper says all current cases of BSE in France have been linked to the crossover use of such feed to fatten cattle.

The Independent says the family of a 19-year-old French victim of the human form of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is to sue the government.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports that the German government is considering a new ban on British beef.

Ten of the 16 German Länder, or regions, are reported to be in favour of re-imposing a ban, following reports that numbers of cases vCJD may be higher than thought.