20 February 1998
Blair could overrule "green top" ban

PRIME minister Tony Blair is ready to overrule agriculture ministers who want to outlaw “green top” milk after pressure from Labour MPs in farming constituencies.

Jeff Rooker, food safety minister, is spearheading the move to ban the raw cows milk, but opponents say it could bankrupt up to 500 dairy farmers and throw hundreds more labourers out of work.

Blair is not expected to take a final decision until the public consultation ends next Tuesday.

A letter in todays British Medical Journal says one-fifth of samples of unpasteurised milk tested by the Governments Public Health Laboratory Service were of unacceptable quality. Tuberculosis in cattle – which is on the increase in the UK – can be passed on to humans through unpasteurised milk.

  • The Guardian 20/02/98 page 6
  • The Daily Telegraph 20/02/98 page 6