French beef ban - the end in sight?

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food safety, British beef, Nicolas sarkozy

Hopes of an end to the dispute between Britain and France over the
export of British beef were raised last night when Jacques Chirac,
the French president, said he had asked AFFSA, France's food safety
agency, to report to him on the subject by the end of the month,
reports the Financial Times.

Hopes of an end to the dispute between Britain and France over the export of British beef were raised last night when Jacques Chirac, the French president, said he had asked AFFSA, France's food safety agency, to report to him on the subject by the end of the month, reports the Financial Times​.

Downing Street officials said a clean bill of health would pave the way for the French to revoke their ban on imports of British beef. But they warned that the food safety agency was independent of the French government, and could reiterate its concerns.

The revelation came as President Chirac and Tony Blair emerged from a private dinner in Paris.

In December last year the European Court of Justice deemed the French ban on British beef, due to BSE, to be illegal. Despite this ruling, the French government has maintained its position and refused to lift the ban. The French government changed direction this week when Socialists were beaten by the right-wing UMP party. British farmers will no doubt be hopeful that this change in political path will lead France to remove the ban and reinstate much needed French imports.

Related topics: Policy

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