Supermarket shopping, London 1999. This was the so called Beef War. The row exploded in the wake of the French government's refusal to lift its ban on British beef imports and last Friday's condemnation by the EU Commission of the French practice of feeding its cattle human excrement. Sainsbury's and many other supermarkets condemned the French ban and cut 20 per cent off all British beef steaks, joints, stewing and braising cuts for two weeks.