Archive Article: 1998/05/22

22 May 1998

By FW reporters

THE beef-on-the-bone ban could soon be lifted, according to SEAC, the governments advisory body on BSE at the Federation of Fresh Meat Wholesalers annual conference in London.

SEAC chairman John Pattison said the good news on BSE was that it was vanishing fast in line with predictions. And, he said that with a 300-fold decrease in BSE cases so far this year, 1998 could represent a turning point in the diseases history which meant there was now a strong case for reversing the ban in the near future.

He also said that regulations, which were at the moment disproportionate to risk, would further reduce as BSE continued to drop. Mr Pattison added that he still eats beef and is convinced that British beef is the safest beef to be found anywhere in the world.

But, Suzi Leather consumer specialist for the industry backed assurance scheme Assured British Meat said that there was a move away from meat by consumers with a recent ABM survey showing that they aimed to cut down on meat consumption.

And she said those surveyed, branded meat as disgusting, unsafe, cruel and repugnant.

"Vegetarianism is increasing with 3m consumers now boycotting meat. And this figure will continue to grow with the Vegetarian Society claiming 20% of the population will join them in the next two years," she said.

SEAC chairman John Pattison said that BSE was dying out.

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