The European Commission has given Germany permission to pay State aid of €3.5m (US$3.05m) this year to introduce a new quality label for beef sold in Bavaria. The idea is to boost confidence in beef consumption in a country where the meat's reputation has been severely damaged by BSE. The subsidies will pay for controls and certification of companies participating in the programme, publicising the scheme to consumers, as well as sales promotions and advertising. Brussels' decision is in line with new state aid guidelines for promoting food products, which allow governments to subsidise labels with joint information about product quality and origin.