- Scotland's rural development minister defied calls for
a statement yesterday after calf meat possibly infected with BSE entered
the human food chain.
- Mr Finnie appeared to blame the Food Standards Agency
for not alerting authorities in Scotland sooner. The agency said on Tuesday
that kidneys from an animal whose mother had BSE might already be in the
- The animal was slaughtered in Scotland after being brought
from England. Claiming the risk was extremely low, the agency said the
rest of the animal had been destroyed.
- Mr Finnie refused to comment, in contrast to his reaction
to a similar failure of communications last year when he lambasted the
Ministry of Agriculture in London for failing to alert him about the planting
of GM-contaminated crops in Scotland.
- A spokesman for the minister said: "He is making
no statement. This is a matter for the Food Standards Agency."
- Fergus Ewing, SNP rural affairs spokesman, claimed the
suspect calf had been slaughtered eight or nine days after the discovery
that it might carry BSE.
- "There should be an immediate independent inquiry
into what appears to be chilling incompetence by the London-based Ministry
of Agriculture," he said.
- Meanwhile, the US faces a possible crisis in its blood
supply if a federal committee agrees today to widen the ban on donor blood
from people who have lived in Britain.
- Donations are currently refused from people who have
lived in the UK for more than six months since 1980.
- Food and Drug Administration officials will decide whether
to expand the ban to France and other EU countries.
- The American Red Cross, responsible for collecting half
the blood supply, wants the ban extended to Europe, and for the cut-off
point for British residence to be reduced to three months. America's Blood
Centres, which collect the other half, said the ban could cost 25% of New
York City's blood supply.
Site Served by TheHostPros