24 March 1998
Government ‘misled’ scientists over BSE controls

DR DAVID TYRELL, who chaired the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee, will tell BSE inquiry today (Tuesday) that scientists were misled into endorsing Government assurances in 1990 that beef was safe to eat.

They believed prevention controls were in place that would mean high-risk cattle material would not enter the public food chain. But, unknown to them, the controls were often ignored.

Dr Tyrell, who chaired the committee for the first five years of the decade, will tell the inquiry that scientists were influenced by the Government ban on specified bovine offals, which was imposed in June 1989. But it was not until 1995 that it dawned on the committee that the controls on offals were not working because cases of BSE were increasing among cattle born after the 1988 ban on rations containing the processed animal remains believed to have caused the disease in the first place.

  • The Daily Telegraph 24/03/98 page 10