- BERLIN (AFP) - Nearly one
in four Germans has given up eating beef and over half the country has
changed its eating habits because of fears about mad cow disease, according
to a survey published Friday.
- Meanwhile, Germany's agro-food union, BAU, said Friday
that a total of 5,000 people may have less work because of the mad cow
scare, as some factories were closing.
- Of the 2,017 people asked by the Allensbach public opinion
research institute, 34 percent said they ate less beef and 24 percent said
they no longer ate it at all.
- Only one in three, or 34 percent, said they had not changed
their eating habits as a result of the mad-cow crisis.
- Nearly half, or 48 percent, felt personally threatened
by the danger of infection with the disease, with women feeling more threatened
than men by a proportion of 51 percent to 44 percent, the survey found.
- The Allensbach survey also found that Germans considered
their government partly responsible for the fact that mad cow disease had
broken out in Germany.
- It said 72 percent of those asked believed the government
had waited too long before acting.
- A Berlin meat and sausage factory is to close because
of plummeting sales due to the mad cow crisis, a spokesman for the operating
firm Koenecke said Thursday.
- It had been decided the factory, which employs 61 people,
must close on May 31 in order to save jobs at the company's other meat-processing
works, spokesman Ulrich Ploenissen said.
- The Berlin plant is the smallest of four factories run
by the Bremen-based Koenecke-Redlefsen group.
- A member of the plant's works council said production
had fallen by about 50 percent because of the slump in demand since the
scare over bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease,
- The Braun meat factory in the Schwabach in the southern
state of Bavaria said Friday it was going out of business due to the crisis,
as orders were down 20 percent.
- Fifty-five people at five sites may lose their jobs,
owner Stefan Braun said.
- Germany's new agricultural minister, Renate Kuenast,
said Thursday that she wanted to see special labels on meat introduced
in order to reassure consumers.
- Speaking to reporters after being sworn in as minister,
Kuenast said she would like to see "one very strict eco-label"
for meat from organically raised cows, and one for meat meeting certain
minimum standards from cows raised by conventional methods that include
using industrially-made feed.
- A total of 16 German-born cows have been found to have
BSE in the country.
- The discovery of the first case on November 24 set off
a crisis in a country that had thought itself free of the disease.
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