16 September 1998
Nanny to be pensioned off after beef-on-bone gaffe?
By FWi staff
THE Government is set to review its approach to consumer affairs following Downing-Street concern that it was too quick to ban beef on the bone.
The case for a review will be made today in the first annual review from the governments better regulation taskforce, according to this mornings Financial Times.
The review is said to have the backing of Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mr Blair is reportedly concerned that government departments are too anxious to introduce safeguards against remote risks to consumers.
The review cites the BSE saga as an example of mistakes in risk assessment by ministers and government officials. Regulations to deal with the BSE crisis were at first insufficient but then became excessive, the report says.
Former agriculture minister Jack Cunningham is widely believed to have acted without the appropriate consultation when he banned beef on the bone last December. The ban enraged consumers and won Dr Cunningham the nickname “Jack Boots”.
Supporters of the review hope it will lead to a change in the governments approach to regulation and rein back the “nanny state”. It will also please farmers who feel the government favours consumer interests at the expense of producers.