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France Digs in Heels Against Lifting US Ban

by 5m Editor
27 May 2008, at 8:02a.m.

FRANCE - The latest attempt to lift poultry trade barriers between Europe and the US were hindered on Monday by France.

That ban has been in place since April 1997 because U.S. poultry producers use a low-concentration chlorine wash on chickens, a treatment practice not permitted in Europe.

This week, the European Commission will consider a proposal authored by its health chief to lift the ban, although the technical details and control requirements are still unclear.

If the Commission agrees, the proposal would then be given to a panel of EU member state experts for their approval. And that, officials say, is where the problems are likely to start.

Last week, the idea came in for a drubbing at a meeting of the bloc's agriculture ministers where more than 20 of the 27 EU countries said they were either opposed to lifting the ban or at least had serious doubts about doing so.

France has been vocal in its absolute opposition to lifting the ban and has shown no signs of altering its view.

View the Guardian story by clicking here.

5m Editor