Differing standards constitute a significant barrier to the free movement of goods between countries.
In 1988 it was estimated that the costs of such standards in impeding trade throughout the European Community was ECU 20 billion.
Efforts to promote common European health standards should not impinge on the diversity and character of Europe's food and drink. The very phrase "minimum hygiene standards" should strike terror into the hearts of any true-born Frenchman. There are many people who would find that life is not worth living unless you have a choice of all the gloriously unhygienic things which humankind -- especially the French portion of it -- has lovingly created, notably bacteria-contaminated soft cheeses.