The European Commission today [Wednesday] authorised Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia) to pay national aid worth a total of some €1m (US$873,000) to beef farmers who have suffered losses because of the consequences of the BSE crisis. The aid is granted as a compensation for the income losses of beef farmers between November 2000 and March 2001. Normally, Member States may not pay such income aid. However, the Commission said it recognises that the current crisis in the beef market is exceptional, and therefore justifies such aid.