26 October 1999
French promise more port protests
By FWi staff
FRENCH farmers staging a “symbolic” blockade of UK ferry traffic have promised more protests, as the row over the safety of French meat escalates.
The two-hour blockade at Calais and Boulogne was called by French farming union bosses in retaliation to the selective boycotts of French goods imposed by some UK supermarkets.
These were prompted by the French ban on British beef in defiance of EU law. The French food agency questions British BSE figures.
Calls for a retaliatory ban gained impetus when it was revealed that French livestock were raised on feed which included human waste and animal parts.
The British government decided against a ban after scientific advisors said the French meat was not a health threat.
A spokesman for the FNSEA farming union told ITN: “The protest is symbolic, but there is great anger and we cannot rule out further protests this week.
“It is not possible to say whether we sympathise with the problems faced by British farmers. It is our job to maintain the interests of French farmers and that is what we are doing.”
Earlier, UK farmers protested outside the House of Commons in London.