HL Deb 18 December 1997 vol 584 c102WA
Viscount Simon

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are satisfied that their policy on controlling the sale of meat products is consistent with their policy on controlling the sale of tobacco products, given the medical evidence available in each case of the likely impact on human health.

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington)

We are satisfied that the actions taken to protect the public from any health risk, however small, from possible exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy are justified. In the light of the advice from the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) and the Chief Medical Officer, we decided that we could not risk public health by allowing a tissue in which infectivity had been found to remain in the human food chain.

Many factors need to be taken into account when assessing the appropriate measures to address risks to public health associated with different products or activities. We are satisfied that our response to the public health risks in smoking and eating beef is appropriate in both cases.

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