Prompted by fears of mad cow disease, a total ban on the importation of beef products into Australia and New Zealand from thirty European countries was announced today (5 January) in a statement by the joint Food Authority (ANZFA). Ian Lindenmayer, managing director of ANZFA, admitted that the probability of imported beef products being contaminated with BSE was slim, but that "Australia and New Zealand have one of the safest food supplies in the world - and the current steps are intended to keep it that way."