French hiding BSE cases

23 February 2000

‘French hiding BSE cases’

FRENCH farmers are concealing the true extent of BSE among their herds, it has been claimed.

The revelations come from farmer Camille Guillou, who has written a book on French beef farming.

He says the highest rates of BSE are found in dairy, not beef, cattle, but that many dairy cows were slaughtered as beef when they were too old to yield milk.

France claims to have had just 87 cases of BSE across the country in the past 10 years.

The National Farmers Union has long been sceptical of these figures.

Meanwhile, French meat which caused an outbreak of deadly food virus listeria has been traced to tins of pork tongue which could be on sale in Britain.

While the brand has not yet been identified, it is known that some of the tins have been exported.

Seven people have died and 23 have fallen ill from the virus in the past few weeks.

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