8 September 2000
BSE report due in October

By FWi staff

FARM minister Nick Brown, has been told he will receive the long-awaited BSE inquiry report on Oct 3.

Lord Phillips report was originally due to be delivered to ministers by Mar 31, but the sheer weight of evidence from over 300 witnesses forced an extension to the deadline.

But it will not be published until at least Oct 23, when Parliament resumes after its summer recess, according to a MAFF spokeswoman.

She refused to be drawn on reports about what the contents hold in store for former ministers and MAFF and health officials.

>Newspapers have claimed that former farm ministers John Gummer and Douglas Hogg, and former health secretary Kenneth Clarke had been told by Lord Phillips that they may be criticised.

It is also thought that Sir Richard Packer, former MAFF permanent secretary, could be criticised for his role in the crisis.

The MAFF spokeswoman said: We will await the reports publication with interest and then comment as appropriate.

It emerged this week that 19 people have already died from variant CJD, the human form of BSE, this year, more than in any previous year.

There were 14 victims last year and 18 in 1998.