2 February 2000
End to German beef ban in sight?
By FWi staff
THE German Cabinet has approved a plan to lift the ban on British beef.
It has left the upper house of parliament to endorse the decision.
Stringent labelling of British beef under the date-based export scheme is part of the proposal.
German health minister Andrea Fischer said she expected the upper house – or Bundesrat – to back the move when it votes on the issue next month.
Previously, regional government representatives, who make up the Bundesrat, have rejected lifting the BSE ban on British beef on safety grounds.
PA news agency reports that, in a bid to reassure consumers, Ms Fischer said British beef would be clearly marked, on either the meat or packaging.
“This identification allows consumers to decide themselves whether they want to eat British beef or not,” she said.
The European Union lifted a three-and-a-half-year worldwide ban on British beef last August, but Germany and France have retained embargoes
The European Commission is taking France to the European Court of Justice in an effort to make it lift its ban.
This process could take well over a year to complete.
The Bundesrat is expected to debate the ban on British beef on 17 March.