Food Law News - UK - 1997
5 December 1997: BSE - Beef Bone Ban Consultation
MAFF Press Release (388/97), 5 December 1997
Beef Bone Ban Consultation
A consultation letter setting out the terms and conditions for deboning beef has been sent to interested organisations today.
The consultation period ends on 12 December, and it is intended that the Order making the sale of bone-in beef illegal will come into effect on 16 December.
Agriculture Minister Jack Cunningham said:
"I have acted swiftly within the powers I have to protect the public. This measure has the support of consumers, who recognise that my priority is their protection. The Meat and Livestock Commission and National Farmers' Union have also welcomed it."
Dr Cunningham also reiterated his intention to ensure that all meat imported into Britain from European Member States meets the same high standards and quality control as there is in Britain.
"In July I secured EU agreement for further controls on specified risk materials (SRM), which would include meat from other European countries. These rules will come into effect on 1 January, and will prohibit the use of SRM for any purpose. I am determined to act on the best scientific advice in the interest of public safety and to restore consumer confidence in British beef."
The following notes are added:
- A consultation letter is being sent to interested organisations today. The deadline for responses is 16:00 on 12 December.
- It is intended that a Statutory Instrument, taking the consultation into account, will be signed on 15 December, and come into effect on 16 December.
- SEAC advised the Government on 3 December 1997 on the scientific case for removing bones from beef
- Beef with the bones removed will still be available for sale.
- Commission Decision on Specified Risk Material controls (97/534/EC) prohibits use of SRM for any purpose. SRM is defined as:
the skull, including brain, eyes and tonsils, and spinal cord of: bovine animals over 12 months; sheep and goats over 12 months or which have a permanent incisor erupted through the gum;
the spleen of all sheep and goats.
- The use of vertebral columns of animals of all ages for the mechanical recovery of meat will also be prohibited.
- SRM controls were introduced to prohibit the use of certain specified materials which were known to, or might theoretically harbour detectable BSE infectivity in infected animals. The decision was based on scientific advice.
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