7 September 2001
Processors face law suit over BSE

By FWi staff

THE Food Standards Agency may sue meat processors if they fail to disclose whether they used mechanically recovered meat (MRM) in their products.

Agency officials said on Thursday (6 September) that legal action was an option if companies remained silent over the issue, reported The Times.

The agency is finalising a questionnaire which seeks to quantify how much meat potentially contaminated with BSE found its way into the food chain.

Mechanically recovered meat was banned from human consumption in 1995.

The agency has the job of getting the information following complaints by the governments BSE advisers that companies were refusing to co-operate.

Members of the governments BSE advisory committee said they had been “continually thwarted” in their efforts to extract information.

The agencys warning came as scientists revealed a 30% increase in the number of cases of Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) diagnosed in humans.

James Ironside, of the National CJD Surveillance Unit, told the British Association that the increase indicated a persistent upward trend.

People living in northern England and Scotland were almost twice as likely to contract CJD as those in the south, he said.

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