BSE in France is said to be one reason for recent price ripples through the British market. New cases of infection and controversy over cattle carcase processing have certainly gained heavy coverage in the French media and are reported to have affected consumer confidence. Proof is hard to find, but gossip among traders in Britain is of some supplies from the continent being diverted from France into the secondary wholesale market here. French discomfort over an increasing incidence of BSE tends to provoke snide reactions from British producers and former exporters indignant at the continuing refusal by Paris to permit purchases of beef from this country. The current uncertainty demonstrates the damaging cross-border effects of BSE anywhere in the EU. Less easily explained is demand weakness in the Italian beef market. {{MEAT }}