11 September 1997
Call for independent inquiry into BSE
Hugh Pennington has joined calls for a full independent juridical public inquiry into bovine spongiform encephalopathy. He and several other top scientists and 16 of 21 victims, whose children have contracted new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, want an inquiry to establish why the diseases arose and to ensure that no such public health disaster happens again.
The Financial Times Leader welcomes the introduction of an independent Food Standards Agency for which a white paper is expected later in the autumn. It says the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Foods has proved unable to deal adequately with the challenges that modern systems of farming present. These include what it calls a fearsome range of microbiological threats.