§ Mrs. Shephard
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) on what date officials in his Department were informed that human and animal waste, and meat and bonemeal were being used in French animal feed; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) on what date he was informed that human and animal waste, and meat and bonemeal were being used in French animal feed; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 28 October 1999]: A Reuters article, reported by several newspapers, alleging contamination of French animal feed with waste was seen by officials in my Department on 10 June 1999. Subsequent contact between the UK and the Commission was pursued by officials in the Joint Food Safety and Standards Group, the Department of Health and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. MAFF officials also contacted their French counterparts and received assurances on 15 June that these were isolated incidents and remedial action had been taken.
Following new media reports on 16 August, the Commission then raised the issue with the French Government and initiated an investigation. At the same time, Ministers were advised by the Joint Food Safety and Standards Group that there was no immediate risk to health and no special action necessary.