Food Law News - UK - 2000

FSA Press Release (2000/0055), 26 October 2000

BSE - Food Standards Agency Welcomes BSE Inquiry Report

Sir John Krebs, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, today welcomed the BSE Inquiry Report, and pledged that never again will vital information on food safety risks be withheld from the public. He also said that there is no immediate need for new safety measures on BSE arising from the Inquiry.

Sir John said: "BSE is a continuing tragedy and all of us will be thinking today of those who have contracted vCJD, their families and their friends. BSE is still with us and the Agency is committed to stringent precautionary measures, supported by scientific research, to protect public health.The Inquiry has highlighted how secrecy, and the reluctance to trust the public, dogged efforts to tackle BSE. The Agency pledges that never again will vital information on food safety risks be withheld from the public. We have been, and will continue to be, open and transparent in our assessment of food safety.

"Many of the key changes identified by the inquiry to protect consumers have been adopted by the Agency. We have made a clean start on openness and public accountability. Our research and advice is open to scrutiny. And when there is uncertainty and risk, we say so. The human cost of BSE means that no one and no organisation can be complacent and we have to ensure we learn the lessons of the past. The Board of the FSA will discuss at a public meeting the implications of the report for the future conduct of the Agency."

The Food Standards Agency has been reviewing current BSE controls through seven public meetings since April 2000. The next draft of the report is to be published Monday 30 October for consideration at a stakeholder meeting on Thursday 2 November.

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