21 November 2000
Brown warns of unsafe French beef
By FWi staff
PRESSURE has grown on Tony Blair to ban French beef after Farm Minister Nick Brown warned that unsafe French beef could have entered the food chain
The Times reports that Mr Brown told the Prime Minister there was a risk of beef from animals over 30 months old could have reached the market.
A legal loophole allows meat at risk from BSE to be legally imported into Britain even though it cannot legally be sold for human consumption.
Older French meat can be cut and packed in other EU countries before being imported and sold without customers knowing its source.
It is feared that through a lack of strict controls some of the meat could end up in low-grade takeaway food.
The Times says pressure is expected to grow on the Prime Minister to ban French beef because he cannot guarantee that older meat is not reaching the dinner-plate.
This comes after EU farm ministers voiced support for post-mortem tests for cattle aged over three years old in a bid to allay public fears over BSE.
In another development, Holland joined Spain and Italy in blocking French cattle imports in the latest BSE scare, reports the Daily Mail.
The Daily Express reports that Germany wants to add British lamb in any new embargo on British beef.
And the Czech Republic is to ban imports of French and Portuguese beef and cattle, reports the Guardian.
The Financial Times says that scientists, politicians and farmers have long known that BSE extended far beyond Britains boundaries.
It says exports of live cattle and meat and bonemeal – long after it was banned in Britain – ensured the transmission of BSE.
The Times runs a feature on the South Yorkshire village of Armthorpe, where three young people have died from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
It considers whether the fact that two of the victims ate Sunday lunch together as children was a factor in their contracting the human form of BSE.
Some locals are concerned about the nearby headquarters of Prosper de Mulder, which controls 70% of the UK meat rendering industry.
Until 1995 the site was a rendering plant, leading some locals to question if infected feed particles could have been carried from there.
Meanwhile The Guardian reports that the NHS is considering banning anyone who have received blood transfusions from giving blood.
This comes amid rising concerns that they may pass on vCJD, says the newspaper.
- EU-wide BSE tests to go ahead, FWi, 20 November, 2000
- Daily Express 21/11/2000 page 21
- Daily Mail 21/11/2000 page 40
- The Times 21/11/2000 page 1, Times 2 page 2 and 3
- The Guardian 21/11/2000 page 1 and 17
- The Daily Telegraph 21/11/2000 page 5
- The Daily Telegraph 21/11/2000 page 4 and 11