Front Page







World Summary

On Air


Talking Point


Low Graphics


Site Map

Wednesday, February 25, 1998 Published at 18:41 GMT

World: Europe

Two-tier BSE system agreed
image: [ New European BSE rules will create a two-tier system ]
New European BSE rules will create a two-tier system

The European commissioners have agreed a plan for tackling the risk of BSE which will lead to a two-tier system within the European Union.

Countries with no native case of the disease will be allowed to apply for exemption from rules which will oblige the rest of the European Union to remove certain materials from animals before sale.

The EU has struggled for many months to reach agreement on which parts of the cow should be banned for human consumption, and the ban has already been delayed twice.

This latest decision postpones it again and effectively ends any attempt to bring in an EU-wide regime. Instead, different rules will apply according to the degree of risk in the country concerned.

BSE-free countries fight ban

The eight countries in the EU which have never suffered a recorded instance of BSE on their own farms have until the end of June to make their case to the European Commission.

They will be given the benefit of the doubt until the end of this year.

The seven countries in the EU which have recorded cases of the disease - Britain, Ireland, France, Portugal and the Benelux states - will all have to ban an agreed list of body parts from July.

They will be able to seek exemptions on some of the lower risk items.

Some of this second group of countries have had a low incidence of BSE.

There are fears that a clearly defined two-tier system could make it harder for them to re-establish confidence in their produce.

The European Commission hopes that the formula will resolve a political impasse over the issue and end a situation in which nation states' attempts to protect their beef industries has delayed a measure designed to protect public health.

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage


Link to BBC Homepage

[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Relevant Stories

20 Feb 98†|†UK
BSE 'linked to water supply'

09 Feb 98†|†UK
One in three BSE cases "could have been prevented"

27 Jan 98†|†UK
BSE inquiry chairman promises full investigation

27 Jan 98†|†UK
Call for answers in BSE crisis

26 Jan 98†|†UK
£2m British beef promotion

22 Dec 97†|†UK
Beef farmers get £85m

23 Dec 97†|†UK
High profile judge to head BSE probe

05 Nov 97†|†UK
Scientists close in on mad cow test

Internet Links

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food - BSE Information

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.