10 January 2001
New German health minister named

By FWi staff

SOCIAL Democrat Ulla Schmidt has been named new German health minister, with the task of restoring public confidence in beef.

Earlier, Green Party co-leader Renate Kuenast as appointed agriculture minister. Her portfolio includes responsibility for a new food-safety policy.

These changes followed the shock resignations of Green Party health minister Andrea Fischer and Social Democrat farm minister Karl-Heinz Funke.

Germany had claimed to be BSE-free, but consumer confidence has collapsed since 10 cases were discovered when testing started last autumn.

BBC Online says by reappointing one Green and one Social Democrat, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is trying to maintain the balance of his red-green coalition.

Meanwhile, the Ananova website reports that the calf of a BSE-infected German cow has been slaughtered and probably eaten.

The mother cow was slaughtered in Bavaria on Friday (05 January) after BSE was found in its herd. An investigation is under way to find when the calf was sold and slaughtered.