U.S. Suspends Meat Imports from France
USAgNet - 02/25/2004
The United States has decided to suspend imports of meat products from France after experts found food safety measures in the country were not up to standard, the French agriculture ministry said. The European country said the U.S. move, which will affect foie gras and sausages among other products, followed a visit by a team from the U.S. agriculture ministry team to 11 companies allowed to export to the United States as well as to the local veterinary services that supervise them.
The French government said the experts had noted "non-conformities" in French health protection measures during the trip from January 15 to February 5, the ministry said in a statement. The ministry emphasized that France "does not share" the conclusions.
"Food safety measures have never been questioned by the relevant regional heads of veterinary services who took part in these inspections," the statement said.
A high-level team led by French Agriculture Minister Herve Gaymard traveled to Washington Monday "in order to present to the actions that France has taken for several months in order to respond to the specific demands" of the U.S. in this regard, the statement said.