The European Commission has been blasted by a leading member of the French meat industry for its handling of BSE. The Commission, says John Brook, md of France's largest beef exporter Sogeviandes, not only failed to counteract consumer concerns, but caused havoc with a plethora of confusing and often ill-timed measures. He blamed the Commission for its weak response to consumer panic, and for "trailing in the wake of unilateral national measures". The Commission was constantly following rather than leading actions by EU states, he said. And national measures played an important part in making panic worse and blocking European beef trade. Brook told the annual Agra Europe Agricultural Outlook Conference in London that 35,000 slaughterhouse workers will have lost their jobs as a result of BSE and FMD. He forecast the EU beef market would take at least two or three years to recover from the two diseases. Brook rejected demands from some consumer and environmental groups as well as politicians to move CAP away from intensive farming. Even the destruction of one million UK animals, he argued, did not constitute grounds for a shift to organic or small scale production. {{M/E MEAT }}

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