The United States have announced the lifting of the ban on imports of beef from France. The Commission welcomes this decision, which represents a new stage in the reopening of a market which has been closed since the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic in the 1990s.
"Following similar decisions taken as regards imports from Ireland, Lithuania and the Netherlands, the Commission welcomes the United States' decision to authorise imports of beef from France. This further illustrates that the European Union's efforts to eradicate BSE from its territory have been successful.
This is wonderful news for French producers, and the Commission will continue to work with all the parties concerned to make sure that, in the near future, all Member States have the same access to the American market.
This decision by the US clearly shows what we can achieve through an open, constructive relationship with one of our most important commercial partners" declared Commissioners Cecilia Malmström, responsible for trade, Vytenis Andriukaitis, responsible for health and food safety, and Phil Hogan, responsible for agriculture.
The American market has been closed to beef from the EU since January 1998, the date on which the United States introduced restrictions on the import of bovine, ovine and caprine meat following the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic.
These restrictions are harsher than the recommendations of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). European beef is therefore safe for consumers.