Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said the "inflammatory nature" of the remarks about US food by his French counterpart would worsen the dispute over beef hormones, bananas and bio-technology.
Earlier, the French Agriculture Minister ,Jean Glavany, attacked an American decision to impose 100 per cent tariffs on $116.8m (pounds 73m) of European Union goods, including French pate, chocolate and cheese.
The action is intended to punish the leading members of the EU for not dropping a ban on beef produced from cattle treated with hormones, a common US practice. "[The US] is the country that has the worst food in the world," Mr Glavany said, when asked by a reporter in Par is why Americans would eat hormone-treated beef if it was dangerous. "One cannot say that the American food model is balanced and beyond reproach."
Mr Glickman said Mr Glavany had gone "too far". "[His remarks] are not supported by the facts," he said.