French vCJD families to sue Britain

17 November 2000

French vCJD families to sue Britain

By FWi staff

FAMILIES of two French victims of the human form of BSE are to sue the British authorities for exporting possibly contaminated material.

A lawyer acting jointly for the two families says a suit is to be filed within the next day or so in Paris.

Nineteen-year-old Arnaud Eboli is suffering from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, and Laurence Duhamel died from the disease last February.

The Financial Times reports that the complaint will claim the British authorities bear a heavy responsibility.

It argues that they authorised “the massive export of what they recognised as the main agent of contamination of their cattle population”.

Action is also being taken against the European Commission and France, accusing them of failing to take the threat of disease seriously enough.

A spokesman for the Commission told BBC Online said “it considers itself not guilty of any improprieties,” but that a defence case would be drawn up.

This comes at a time when fears over the risk of BSE have soared in France after it emerged beef from infected herds had entered the food chain.

It is reported that Italy may decide to implement a ban on French beef on Friday (17 November).

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