TOUGH restrictions may be imposed on the use of nitrates as a preservative for meat, even where such regulations are challenged by the European Commission as breaking EU freedom of trade legislation. The European Court of Justice has backed the Danish government's appeal against Brussels' move to block its national rules on nitrate preservatives, which were imposed because they can cause cancer. The nitrates inhibit the growth of bacterial pathogens such as costridium botulinum, which creates botulism.

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