§ Miss Emma Nicholson
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the extent to which local control adequately ensures that mechanical recovery of meat takes place with the minimum possible contamination from specified bovine offal; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mrs. Browning
Specified bovine materials have to be removed from all cattle at slaughter and are destroyed. In addition, in December 1995 the use of the bovine vertebral column for the production of mechanically recovered meat was prohibited. This was a precautionary measure to prevent a risk of potential contamination of MRM by small lengths of spinal cord accidentally left attached to the vertebral column. This ensures that no specified bovine material can enter mechanically recovered meat, even accidentally.