4 September 2000
Ex-ministers face criticism over BSE

By FWi staff

PREVIOUS Conservative governments will be heavily criticised in the official inquiry into the BSE crisis, due to be published next month.

The Daily Mail says ministers will be censured for responding too slowly to the crisis and for the way they reassured the public.

In the firing line is former agriculture secretary John Gummer who tried to demonstrate beef was safe by feeding his daughter a beefburger.

Others facing criticism are former health secretary Kenneth Clarke, ex-health minister Lord Freeman, and former farm ministers Douglas Hogg, Angela Browning and David Maclean.

The BSE crisis has cost the taxpayer 4.6bn since ministers announced in 1996 that the bovine disease could threaten humans, reports the Mail.