3 September 1999

Now French waver over British beef

FRANCE is unlikely to accept shipments of British beef, despite last months decision by the EU Commission to lift the global export ban.

Countries other than Germany appeared to accept that British beef was safe when the resumption of exports was given the go ahead from Aug 1.

The German government claimed it was "too early" to accept British beef and said questions remained over whether or not the meat was safe.

At the same time, however, French officials indicated that all administrative procedures allowing beef shipments into France would be completed within weeks.

Joining Germany?

But a report this week in the newspaper Le Monde now says that the French government is set to join Germany in its reluctance to import British beef again.

An expert committee has been set up to advise government officials on the issue and is expected to report back before the end of the month.

The NFU said it was "deeply concerned" about the move and claimed that France was obliged to accept British beef.