BSE – UK & EC to blame
BOTH the UK and European Commission will shoulder the burden of blame over the handling of the BSE crisis when Euro MPs produce their final report next month after a lengthy inquiry.
Spanish socialist MEP Manuel Medina Ortega, author of a draft report, accused the UK of not monitoring abattoir controls adequately. Mr Medina Ortega rejected the UKs explanation that lack of staff and resources had led to the poor monitoring of the removal of specified bovine offal in slaughterhouses between 1990 and 1994. The UK was also singled out for not disclosing scientific evidence and for exerting pressure on the EU to stop controls and inspections being carried out by the commission – accusations strenuously denied by MAFF.
The report, which is only the second of its kind since the European Parliament was given new powers after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, also attacks the council of ministers for trying to stop Germany and France banning beef from BSE-affected herds in the early 1990s. *