British Beef gets European Food Safety Chiefs Backing

by 5m Editor
12 May 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Government calls for Europe to relax controls on UK beef exports have been backed by food safety experts in Brussels.

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The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has said that the UK's BSE risk status should be reduced from 'high' to 'moderate', the same as most other EU countries, later this year.

EFSA added that the Date-Based Export Scheme (DBES) could be simplified, removing the rule that beef for export must be from cattle more than six months old whose mothers were alive six months after they were born.

Food And Farming Minister Larry Whitty said:

"The government and industry have worked hard to control and eradicate BSE, and EFSA's view recognises this and is good news for British beef. We will keep on working closely with the European Commission and other member states to ensure that controls on UK beef exports are eased as soon as possible."

Last year the UK sought advice from the European Commission on amendments to the DBES and the UK's BSE risk status. The Commission referred the issues to EFSA.

The UK needs a specific proposal from the European Commission and the agreement of other Member States before it can export beef from cattle born after 1 August 1996 on the same basis as the rest of the EU.

Source: Defra - 12th May 2004

5m Editor