Thatcher opposed baby food BSE ban

22 October 1999

Thatcher ‘opposed baby food BSE ban’

MARGARET THATCHER initially opposed moves to ban potentially BSE-infected tissues from baby food, former cabinet minister Kenneth Clarke told the BSE inquiry yesterday.

Mr Clarke made the assertion while explaining how he introduced to cabinet in 1989 the recommendations from the report by the Southwood working party, a group of experts on BSE.

The report recommended that potentially infectious tissues, such as offal and thymus, should not be allowed in baby food because they could theoretically lead to cases of BSE in humans.

Mr Clarke said the then prime minister, as well as some other ministers, challenged the reports recommendations.

Mr Clarke subsequently took the advice of his chief medical officer that the moves must be implemented.

It later transpired that the baby food manufacturers did not use the offal in their produce.

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