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US lifts French beef import embargo, France says

Relaxnews (AFP) logoRelaxnews (AFP) 1/14/2017

US authorities have lifted an embargo on French beef imports after 19 years, the French agriculture ministry said Friday.

France is the fourth EU country to have its beef re-admitted to  the US market after a 1998 ban imposed because of fears over bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease.

The others are Ireland, Lithuania and the Netherlands.

The EU Commission welcomed the move, calling it "excellent news for French producers". It was also an illustration that efforts to eradicate BSE in the EU had borne fruit, it said in a statement.

The French ministry warned, however, that administrative hurdles meant it could take time for beef exports to the US to resume.

"We are pleased with this first step, but this doesn't mean that exports will start tomorrow," the ministry said.

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