Food Law News - UK - 2001

MAFF Press Release (50/01), 9 February 2001

BSE - Government Response to the BSE Inquiry Report Published

The Government today published their interim response to the BSE Inquiry Report, ahead of a full Parliamentary debate on 15 February. The response will provide a basis for consultation and discussions, enabling all interested parties to put forward ideas about the Inquiry's findings and the Government's proposals, so as to contribute to the development of the final response.

Agriculture Minister Nick Brown said:
"This response is intended to focus on the future. It sets out what has happened since March 1996 - which was the point to which we asked the Inquiry to take its examination. It gives full attention to the 167 specific findings and conclusions in the Inquiry Report, and to the major themes that emerge from it: management of scientific advisory committees and how scientific advice is used in developing policy; openness; risk and uncertainty; the structure of government and the legislative framework; and the need for rigour in the development and implementation of policy.

The response takes the opportunity to set out how the Government is taking the lessons and comments in the Report as a spur to developing the action already underway as a result of the Modernising Government agenda, the Office of Science and Technology's work on the use of science in government and work on developing a Government Statement on Risk."

Nick Brown also stressed the importance of effective consultation with stakeholders and the wider public:

"The Government intends that this interim response should be the subject of positive action to seek the views of interested parties. Public debate on how the lessons in the Report can be most effectively applied and embedded across departments will help to ensure a comprehensive final Government Response to the BSE Inquiry Report."

The Press Release provides the following additional points:

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