Julian Hunt, Shanghai TV images of burning cattle have seriously damaged the reputation of Britain's food and drink industry in Shanghai ­ one of China's most cosmopolitan cities. With imports of meat and dairy products from the UK already banned in the wake of BSE, local observers say the outbreak of foot and mouth is only adding to the problems they now face selling British goods in China. A recent major deal typifies the kind of misunderstandings that currently exist. One top Chinese dairy firm wanted to import skimmed milk powder and chose Australia over Europe because it was concerned BSE could be passed on through SMP. And media commentators and consumers alike seem to think China is not afflicted with FMD. Shu Yang, a senior correspondent with the China Food daily newspaper, poured scorn on reports that China had played a role in Britain's foot and mouth outbreak: "People pay little attention to the reports that the meat that caused Europe's foot and mouth came from China." But western observers based in Shanghai are worried about the long-term impact on British trade. One said: "Of course the images are damaging trade. Consumers believe what they see on the news. And all they see are lots of cows being burnt." - See page 16 {{NEWS }}