Food Law News - EU - 1999

29 October 1999: BEEF - British Beef Exports Given the All Clear

MAFF News Release (376/99), 29 October 1999

British Beef Exports Given the All Clear

The European Commission Scientific Steering Committee today unanimously concluded that it did not share the concerns of the French food standards agency regarding the safety of UK beef. The committee also stated that it regarded UK beef as being as safe as that sold in any other EU state.

Nick Brown the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, said,
" I welcome the Committee's findings. They clearly vindicate the position taken by the UK Government that British beef exports under the Date-based Export Scheme are safe. The ball is in now in the French government's court. I hope that they will feel that their concerns have been properly and scientifically addressed, and feel able to comply with their obligations. All parties would benefit from a swift settlement to this dispute. I have already spoken to Commissioner Byrne to press him to do all that he can to facilitate this. I expect to meet early next week with Commissioner Byrne and Minister Glavany."

The Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) is the main scientific advisory body of the European Commission on BSE questions and comprises 16 Members with a three year mandate. Eight members were chosen following a public call for expressions of interest in 1997 and the other members are the chairpersons of European Commission specific scientific committees. Members of the SSC have to act independently of external influence. The work of the SSC is public and the minutes of this SSC meeting as well as the opinion adopted will be made available on the internet at the following address: en.html

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