Japan partially lifts ban on French poultry imports

8th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

TOKYO, March 8, 2006 (AFP) - Japan has partially lifted the ban on French poultry imports to allow in products processed before the deadly bird flu hit the country, officials said Wednesday.

TOKYO, March 8, 2006 (AFP) - Japan has partially lifted the ban on French poultry imports to allow in products processed before the deadly bird flu hit the country, officials said Wednesday.

"We have identified the date when the bird flu virus possibly entered France. So we cancelled the ban for products made before that," said a Japanese agriculture ministry official.

Reviewing data provided from France, Japan has judged that the bird flu virus entered France after February 2, the ministry said in a statement.

"We find no problem with importing French poultry products and eggs collected on or before February 1 that meet sanitation standards of the French government," the ministry statement said.

Japan banned French poultry imports on February 24 after Paris said that the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu had been discovered in a second wild duck found dead in southeast France.

The ban has caused alarm in the community of French chefs and food importers in Tokyo because it meant no more foie gras imports.

Japan imported 1,510 metric tonnes of poultry meat, including duck meat, and 377 tonnes of internal organs such as foie gras from France in 2005.

Most of the organ imports are foie gras, with France supplying about half of all foie gras consumed in Japan.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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