Food Law News - UK - 1997

5 December 1997: BSE - Statement From The Chief Medical Officer

DoH Press Release (97/381), 5 December 1997

Statement From The Chief Medical Officer

Sir Kenneth Calman, the Government's Chief Medical Officer, today re-emphasised the primacy of protecting public health and the necessity of taking action to minimise risk.

Sir Kenneth said:
"We have a responsibility to take into account new information which emerges from research, especially when it has a direct bearing on public health. This must apply even when any risk involved is very small. That is why, in our efforts to protect public health, all tissues in which BSE infectivity has been detected have been excluded from the human food chain. Infectivity has now been detected in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), a tissue which is not currently covered by the Specified Bovine Material Regulations. It is, therefore, right that this tissue should be excluded as well. I would be very concerned if any tissues that have been shown to transmit BSE were knowingly allowed to remain in the human food chain. This is the advice I gave to Ministers."

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