Food Law News - EU - 1996

20 June 1996: Commission Weekly Information (BSE, beef and Britain)

Commission Weekly News - 20 June 1996

BSE, Beef and Britain

Protecting human health is the overriding principle for the Commission in relation to measures to eradicate BSE, Commission President Jacques Santer said yesterday [19 June 1996]. The Commission will maintain this position regardless of political pressure, Santer told the European Parliament, using the best and most up-to-date scientific knowledge as the basis for decision-making.

A position paper prepared by the Commission for the Florence European Council this weekend outlines the procedures that it believes are necessary to enable agreement on the gradual lifting of the export ban on UK beef. These include a package of thorough measures to eliminate BSE, to protect human health by preventing exposure to the BSE agent, and to restore consumer confidence. Any decisions at EU level would have to be taken up by Community inspections to verify effective implementation. The Commission expects the UK to end its non-cooperation policy towards the EU, without which there can be no agreement at Florence, Santer said. A Multi-disciplinary Committee on BSE is being established, to ensure that the scientific advice given to the Commission takes into account the widest possible range of expertise. A steering group has been nominated to set up the committee.

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