27 March 1998
Euro vets reject community-wide ban on SRMs
By Boyd Champness
EUROPEAN vets today (Friday) rejected a proposal to introduce EU-wide abattoir rules which would have seen high-risk offal removed from the food chain.
As predicted, the Standing Veterinary Committee rejected the European Commissions proposal to introduce the uniform rules on specified risk materials (SRMs). Scientific research has revealed that SRMs carry a greater risk of containing the BSE disease.
Eleven countries voted against the proposal with only the UK, France and Portugal supporting it. The Netherlands abstained.
Responsibility for keeping SRMs, such as brains, eyes, tonsils and the spinal cord out of the food chain will now pass to national governments. Currently only the UK, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal operate these controls.
The Commission is likely to shelve the proposal because it hasnt got the support of EU farm ministers.