Scotland - Mad Cow Infected
CALF Meat Maybe Put Into
Human Food Chain
By Murray Ritchie and Alan MacDermid

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 food chain.
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.

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