EU backs Britain in row with Germany over BSE: Ban on beef exports from the UK is rejected by meeting of ministers
Thursday 31 March 1994
'The European Commission and 11 member states all took the view that there was no evidence of a need for new measures,' Brian Mawhinney, the health minister, said.
Germany had called for a ban on British beef and veal exports to all EU states and wanted to extend an existing ban on live cattle exports. Other states were wary, partly because they feared the impact on their own cattle industries and partly because they were not convinced by Germany's arguments, officials said.
The EU came out against Germany at a meeting of health ministers in Brussels. Germany has linked the cattle disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy to the human Creutzfeld-Jakob disease and threatened a unilateral ban on imports of British beef. But this would breach EU law, Britain claims, as there is no evidence to support the link.
The EU will continue to monitor the situation and could in the future look at other action, but this was not needed now, Dimitrios Kremastinos, the Greek health minister, who chaired yesterday's meeting, said.
Germany, though boxed into a corner, continued to threaten action. But officials said they hoped this could be resolved through measures short of a ban. Bonn might adopt a ruminant protein ban, which rules out feeding cows, or sheep with meat, they said, as Britain had done up to 1988.
The Commission has argued that present measures are sufficient to ensure human safety and that there is no evidence of the human link. Yesterday Britain sought to reposition the row as being between Germany and the Commission, rather than Britain, since a breach EU law would be the responsibility of the European Commission.
'They can look at measures taken by other countries,' Mr Mawhinney said. 'But what they cannot do is to take any measures that are outside European law.'
In a paper on the subject, the Commission commends Britain's provision of information and its measures to prevent the spread of the disease. It examines the sensitive issue of maternal transmission of the disease and finds no conclusive evidence; and it concludes that there is no reason to believe the disease can be transmitted to humans, though it advocates stringent measures.
The German minister also asked for new reports on the issue, but Britain rejected this, too, saying it was unneccessary and could be damaging. 'That might imply there was a problem,' Mr Mawhinney said. 'There is not a risk to human health.'
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
- 4 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...