990858 Franch Farmers Dump Manure At McDonald'sAugust 28, 1999
Paris - French farmers Saturday dumped six tons of manure on a McDonald's restaurant in Arles, near the Mediterranean coast, in the latest protest against U.S. sanctions on luxury EU goods.
A group of 20 farmers, backed by radical farm union Confederation Paysanne, also called for suspension of legal action against five sheep farmers who ransacked a McDonald's construction site in Millau, Aveyron last week.
No one was injured in the attack but damage to the building was severe. Protesters scrawled graffiti across the walls, proclaiming their locally made strong blue cheese over U.S. burgers.
Roquefort first, McDo go home, it read.
A French court released four of the Millau protesters on bail but held local union leader Jose Bove in custody after rejecting his plea for release.
Angry farmers in France, who produce luxury cheese and other foods on the U.S. hit-list, said they were targeting the hamburger chain in symbolic opposition to U.S. sanctions which were imposed last month.
But McDonald's, which has some 400 outlets in France, accused the farmers of dragging it into a conflict for which it is not responsible. The United States and Canada have imposed 100% tariffs on a number of luxury products made in the European Union, worth $124 million in annual sales to North America.
The tariffs were levied after the EU bloc refused to lift a ban on North American hormone-treated beef.
French foodstuffs targeted for higher duties include the blue-veined Roquefort cheese and certain brands of truffles and foie gras made in the Aveyron region.