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The French government may finally be about to lift its ban on British beef, imposed a half-dozen years ago in the height of the mad cow disease scare, and continued despite the fact that the European Union (EU) declared British beef safe three years ago.

The French national food safety agency (AFSSA) had maintained that British beef was not safe, but has now said that “things have changed considerably…the risk of contamination is much more limited than before.”

However, elected officials are responsible for making any final decision.

The French ban has been the subject of trade dispute with the UK, and the EU had requested the imposition of sanctions because of the French position.

British officials are happy but cautious about the seeming shift, saying that it is just the beginning step in getting the ban lifted.
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