BSE hearing opens today

09 March 1998

BSE hearing opens today

MORE than 400 scientists, ministers, former ministers and civil servants have been warned they could be called on to give evidence at the (BSE) inquiry, which starts in south east London today.

Sir Nicholas Phillips, an Appeal Court judge, opens todays public hearings
into the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

The inquiry is charged with judging the adequacy of the official response to
the emergence of the disease. It will reconstruct the history of BSE up until
20 March 1996 when the Government admitted a probable link to humans.

It aims to report by the end of this year but The Daily Telegraph says
it is expected to overrun its deadline. The inquiry is expected to cost £2m-£10m.

A relative of one of the victims of new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD),
the human version of the BSE, is due to give evidence tomorrow. So is their
doctor and the two vets who first reported the disease in the mid-1980s.

The disease has killed more than 170,000 cattle in Britain and has been
linked to the deaths of 23 people.

Anyone wanting to offer further evidence should call 0845 6021013. The
inquirys Internet site can be found at

  • Financial Times 09/03/98 page 19 (Observer), page 40 (FT Guide to the Week)
  • The Daily Telegraph 09/03/98 page 4
  • The Times 09/03/98 page 1, page 6
  • The Guardian 09/03/98 page 9
  • The Independent 09/03/98 page 7

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