12 October 1999
French minister defends beef ban

THE French minister for agriculture has defended Frances decision to ban British beef in the letters column of The Times.

Jean Glavany says it is “untrue” that France is maintaining an embargo on British beef for reasons of “economic protectionism”, as suggested in the newspaper last week.

He points that any new regulation concerning food safety must first be submitted to the French food health and safety board for its approval.

Mr Glavany says their opinion introduced “a new element since the inquiry carried out by the European Commissions experts a year ago”.

The minister adds that the French decision is only protectionist in regard to the safety of consumers and not at all with regard to trade.