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EU working to narrow US pork, poultry import ban

Reuters Story - June 07, 1999 11:24

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WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) - European Union officials are working quickly to provide the United States with the information it needs to narrow a temporary ban on all EU pork and poultry imports, an EU aide said on Monday.

The United States imposed the blanket restriction last week after it was revealed that some Belgian livestock feed had been contaminated with dioxin, a cancer-causing chemical.

"We think that on the basis of what we know there is no reason to cover all the countries" with the temporary import ban, said Tassos Haniotis, agricultural counselor at the European Commission's delegation here.

The EU will provide the United States with more information on the extent of the potential meat contamination as early as Tuesday, Haniotis said. That could prompt the United States to drop the restrictions on some EU countries, he said.

"Because we have (a record of) the actual shipments that took place from Europe to the United States, we will be able to see where's any potential problem or not," he said.

The EU is tracing back the source of the shipments to see whether they came from pork and poultry operations that may have used contaminated feed, Haniotis said.

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