UK wants its "risk status" lowered so it can begin exporting :???:
UK beef 'banned in 84 countries'
Britain is rated as a "high risk" country for BSE transmission
British beef is still banned in 84 countries following the BSE crisis of the 1990s, the government has said.
The reasons cited for the bans were "animal and public health related", junior environment, food and rural affairs minister Ben Bradshaw said.
Mr Bradshaw said the restrictions were unjustified "in the light of science and the BSE controls by the UK".
He said ministers were working with the European Commission to downgrade the UK to a "moderate" risk rating.
Britain is currently rated as a high risk country for the transmission of BSE - or "mad cow disease".
In a Commons written reply, Mr Bradshaw said countries still banning British beef imports included India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Japan, the United States and Switzerland.
Last month, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael told the Commons that BSE cases peaked at over 36,000 in 1992 and fell last year to 309.
He was speaking after revelations a BSE infected carcass may have entered the British food chain in August 2004.
The Food Standards Agency said there had been no cases of BSE in under-30-month-old animals since 1996.
All cattle which go into the food chain must have specified risk material removed to protect the public from contracting the human form of mad cow disease.
This includes the spinal chord, head and thymus.
In January, BSE experts in France said that safety precautions were sufficient to protect humans against mad cow disease.
Banning brain, spinal tissue and older cattle from the food chain had worked, a French team told the Lancet.
By studying monkeys, they estimated how much infected tissue a human would have to eat to be at risk and said it would be more than anyone could consume.
However, UK experts said the exact quantity remained unknown and recommended continued surveillance.