28 August 2001
Advisor warns over BSE in sheep
By FWi staff
A FORMER government advisor on BSE has urged the government to introduce consumer safeguards that assume the disease is present in sheep.
Richard Kimberlin said the Food Standards Agency was playing a potentially dangerous waiting game instead of protecting consumers.
Dr Kimberlin, who was a BSE advisor for more than eight years, said the agency should tighten a ban on consumption of certain sheep offal.
Writing in The Independent, he said: That would put us in a better position if and when convincing evidence of a risk emerged.
Dr Kimberlin said it could be years before it was proved whether BSE was in sheep because the disease may be masked by scrapie.
But the longer the wait for positive evidence, the greater the number of consumers that could be exposed, he added.
At present, the brain, spinal cord and spleen from sheep of all ages is banned for human or animal consumption.
This could be extended to include the tonsils from animals under 12 months of age, sheep intestines and large lymph glands, he suggested.
The Food Standards Agency is believed to be aware of Dr Kimberlins arguments but is yet to respond to the points he has raised.
- Scientists link BSE to infected sheep, FWi, 27 April 2001
- BSE-in-sheep scare concerns farmers, 3 August 2001
- Scrapie named as BSE cause, FWi, 23 July, 2001