April 2, 2004,
just-food.com: BSE risks from older cattle
are negligible scientists reconfirmed this week. The
comments came as the government ordered previous assessments
to be rechecked, reported BBC News Online. Government
advisers concluded last year that the risks of older
cattle being infected with BSE were slight.
Scientists have reiterated that it is now safe for
UK consumers to eat meat from cattle over 30 months
old, but a ban on such meat entering the food chain
is unlikely to be lifted just yet.
However, since that assessment the ban on meat from
animals over 30 months old entering the food chain has
remained in place. Since 1996, cattle older than 30
months have been bought by the government to prevent
their meat entering the food chain, at a cost of £300m
(US$554.6m) per year to UK taxpayers.
There are apparently concerns among some Department
of Health officials that some scientific questions still
need to be answered before the ban can be lifted.