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French proposal on British beef

Paris - France has asked the European Union to agree that British cattle born after 1 January 1991 should be considered safe from 'mad cow' disease. 'We have asked for a birth date to be set after which cattle can no longer be considered to have been exposed to the risk of contamination in Britain. We have suggested 1 January 1991,' said an official close to the Agriculture Ministry. Diplomats said the proposal was put to France's EU partners at a ministerial farm council meeting in late June. The official, who asked not to be identified, dismissed speculation that France was considering a 'mad cow' beef ban. Reuter