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.