President Nicolas Sarkozy has accused his far-Right election rival Marine Le Pen of creating an artificial controversy over her claim all meat in the Paris region is prepared using Islamic halal traditions.

Miss Le Pen, trailing both Mr Sarkozy and Socialist front-runner Francois Hollande ahead of the April-May French presidential election, made the claim at a rally on Saturday and pledged to file a legal complaint for "misrepresentation of products".

Campaigning on Tuesday in Rungis, home of the main wholesale food market serving the Paris metropolitan area, Sarkozy accused National Front leader Miss Le Pen of getting her facts wrong and creating an artificial controversy.

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