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Friday, November 19, 1999 Published at 21:57 GMT

World: Europe

EU allows labelling of British beef

The European Commission has said beef cleared for export from Britain could carry labels identifying it as British -- a step which may open the way to an agreement in the dispute with France and Germany, who are both continuing to ban it.

Current European Union rules don't allow importers to label EU products on the basis of origin.

The Commission now says that labelling beef as British should not be seen as a mark of national origin, but as a sign that the beef has been produced under an approved export scheme. The EU lifted its ban on the export of British beef in August but France and Germany have insisted on keeping it up until their consumers had a means of identifying its origin.

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