HC Deb 18 December 1995 vol 268 cc926-7W
Mr. Steinberg

To ask the Minister of Agriculture. Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to ban the sale of beef offal until such time as his Department has evaluated scientific proof that there is no link between bovine spongiform encephalopathy and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. [5129]

Mrs. Browning

The Government have based all their measures to protect public health from any remote possible risk from BSE on scientific evidence and advice from the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee and its predecessors. The controls on bovine offals contained in the Specified Bovine Offal Order 1995 are designed to ensure that tissues potentially harbouring BSE infectivity are removed from all cattle at slaughter and do not enter any food chain. Other offals, not covered by these regulations, have been tested and shown not to harbour BSE infectivity, even when taken from clinically affected cattle. The controls in force therefore provide a safeguard against the possibility, for which there is no scientific evidence, that CJD is caused by BSE. Further details of the scientific experiments underpinning these controls were given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in reply to a parliamentary question from my hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough (Mr. Sykes) on 22 November,Official Report, columns 192-93.