French Minister Blasts British
For Exporting Madcow Feed
By David Cazares
The Ft Lauderdale Sun Sentinel

MADRID (AFP) - French Agriculture Minister Jean Glavany said on Sunday the British should be morally condemned for having exported animal feeds which caused mad cow disease.
"It is our English friends who exported this evil," he told the Madrid newspaper El Mundo. "They should be morally condemned for this. They even afforded themselves the luxury of banning these feeds domestically while allowing them to be exported."
"From a moral point of view it is intolerable," he added.
The French Association of Victims of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease,the human variant of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease, has filed suit against "persons unknown" in the French and British governments and in the European Union's institutions.
The action was initiated by families of French people who have died from Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease.
In their writ the families said that Britain bore a heavy responsibility for "authorising the mass export of animal meal, which they recognise as being the main source of contamination."
Glavany said in his interview on Sunday the mad cow crisis should provide the stimulus for a return to better quality agriculture. No country was now safe from mad cow disease, he warned.
"From the moment we all imported hundreds of thousands of tonnes of animal meal at the worst point in time between 1985 and 1995 there is no reason to suppose that any country is safe," the minister said.
"Scientists tell us the incubation period is about five years," he continued: "So if it reached its high point in 1996, 2001 should see the end of the progression, and normalisation should start in 2002."
Britain was the first European country to identify BSE in its cattle herds, and suffered the worst outbreak anywhere.
Just before Christmas a Paris court opened an investigation into the claims that French, British and European Union officials were guilty of involuntary homicide for allowing the disease to spread from Britain to mainland Europe.
The inquiry is being led by examining magistrate Marie-Odile Bertella-Geffroy, who has previously probed scandals involving contaminated blood and human growth hormone.
The discovery of eight new cases of mad cow disease in France was announced last week, bringing the total number of cases detected since the beginning of 2000 to 161.
The French government began a major screening programme in the New Year to test all the country's cattle over 30 months old for BSE.

This Site Served by TheHostPros