NFU officials have lodged a formal complaint with the BBC over advice given on Radio 2s BSE telephone helpline.
Listeners were invited to call the line for more information about the safety of British beef after a phone-in debate on the Jimmy Young Programme.
One caller was advised that the only way to ensure complete safety was to avoid beef and beef products altogether. The caller was also warned not to eat offal because it can contain BSE and not to eat meat pies, sausages or burgers because they can contain offal. The safety of roast beef was also "a grey area" because many scientists did not believe the governments assertion that it was safe.
The NFU lodged its complaint on the grounds that the Helpline advice ran contrary to government guidance, agreed by independent scientists and advisers. Health minister Stephen Dorrell and farm minister Douglas Hogg have repeatedly maintained that beef and beef products are safe. *