Leading Article: Out of joint

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The Independent Culture
THANK HEAVENS for the Europeans over BSE. Not for the belated and still too tentative lifting of the beef ban yesterday. But without the constant pressure of the Commission we wouldn't have carried out half the measures we have now taken, and in the process ended with the cleanest, best-regulated livestock in Europe.

Praise, too, to the consumers, who have reacted to BSE by reordering their diets in a more healthy fashion. Which is precisely the point that the British Government still does not seem to have grasped from this crisis. Food is not about politics, it is about priorities. The food bill which was supposed to have been part of the Queen's speech has been dropped. Even after all we have been through, the Government has kept food hygiene under the wing of the Ministry of Agriculture. Maybe we should hand it over to Brussels.

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