2 October 2000
Brits eating ‘unexportable’ beef

By FWi staff

BRITISH shoppers are buying beef “considered unfit for foreigners under BSE rules”, reports the Daily Express.

While beef destined for the foreign market must be slaughtered at dedicated plants, beef for the domestic market faces less stringent standards, it claims.

It says that seven of the 21 abattoirs slaughtering older cattle under the Over Thirty Months Scheme are also killing animals under that age for human consumption.

Abattoirs are cleaned after work for the scheme to remove the older animals deemed more at risk of carrying the disease, and the meat put in sealed units to prevent it reaching the food chain.

But Professor Richard Lacey, who helped expose the BSE crisis, told the Expressthat human error could allow contaminated meat to enter the food chain.

British shoppers should have the same safety standards as foreign consumers, he said.

Meanwhile, a fourth person has died of the human form of BSE in the Leicestershire village where the government is investigating the cluster of cases.

The death of farm worker Christopher Reeve, aged 24, from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is the 20th this year, reports The Guardian.

The newspaper says this is the 75th death in Britain since 1995. There have been two deaths in France, one in Ireland.

The Daily Mail reports that the number of Britons suspected of having the disease rose to eight on Sunday (1 October)

Donna McIntyre, a 21-year-old former receptionist from Aberdeen was diagnosed three years ago.

A 76-year-old man in who has died Ontario, Canada is the first victim of the disease in north America, reports the Express.

His widow believed he contracted the disease eating meat during trips home to Scotland.

The Guardian also reports that Lord Phillips BSE inquiry report is set to criticise former Conservative ministers and civil servants.

The report, which is handed to farm minister Nick Brown on Monday (2 October) is expected to give a mixed report to former agriculture minister John McGregor.

He will be censured for not introducing a slaughter and compensation scheme more quickly, but praised for banning offal from most foods in 1989.

Successor John Gummer is expected to be condemned for a publicity stunt in which he fed his daughter a burger, says The Guardian.

Lord Phillips was concerned that Mr Gummer did not take the BSE risk seriously enough, a charge denied by Mr Gummer.