06 July 1999
Expert slams Tory ‘ostriches’ over BSE

THE last governments handling of the BSE crisis failed to impress an expert on risk management writing in The Independent.

He sums up the then Conservative governments attitude as the “ostrich” model of crisis management.

“It didnt have a clear view of decision-making framework that was appropriate to this situation,” he writes.

One fault was to rely too much on scientific research.

The lack of transparency in debate and decision-making as well as a failure to communicate openly with the media and the public is also criticised.

Dr Paul Anand, an economist with the Open University, says the present government is far more professional in its handling of the debate over genetically modified food.

But he remains critical, nevertheless, saying that ministers need a broader model of risk assessment and “that doesnt seem to be happening”.

  • The Independent 06/07/99 page 12 (Open Eye supplement)