Arts and Entertainment Playing it by ear: Dan Skinner, Matt Berry, Bob Mortimer and Vic Reeves in 'House of Fools'

Vic and Bob are back in BBC2's House of Fools. The duo explain why writing a sitcom was their biggest test yet

No reason for beef ban says adviser

THERE ARE no scientific grounds for retaining the beef-on-the- bone ban, the government's Chief Scientific Adviser said yesterday.

Letter: Food of the future

Sir: Has the UK got two different governments? That's the only explanation I can come up with for the ridiculously strict rules being enforced on beef on the bone, compared with the ridiculously lax attitude regarding genetically modified food.

Farmers angry over beef ban

THE MINISTER of Agriculture, Nick Brown, will next week publish the report by Professor Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, exclusively revealed in The Independent, which favours continuing the ban on beef on the bone.

Farming Notes: The cow cannot put a hoof wrong

WHEN I mention to people that I have written a book in which the heroine is a cow, they consistently tell me there is nothing unusual in that. Lots of heroines are utter cows, whether the author appreciates it or not: Vanity Fair's Becky Sharp, Scarlett O'Hara of Gone with the Wind and that arch-cow Lady Macbeth. They think I am describing a protagonist who is a nasty piece of work, deceitful and manipulative and stubborn.

Ex-minister denies abattoir negligence

STEPHEN DORRELL clashed with the chairman of the BSE Inquiry yesterday, over the failure of Tory ministers' to stress to abattoir staff the importance of rules banning BSE-infective tissues from food.

Beef Ban Lifted: The selling of the British cow

LIFTING the export ban on British beef is one thing. Getting consumers across Europe to eat it is another. How, for example, do you say it is completely safe to eat beef without hinting at the possibility that it might have been potentially life threatening in the first place?

Rugby Union: Bulls' beef tests Welsh resolve

David Llewellyn hears the groans of the crowd as giants lock horns

Scientists create a cow-human hybrid

SCIENTISTS HAVE fused the nucleus of a human cell with an egg cell taken from a cow to create the world's first embryonic clone of an adult man.

Beef-on-the-bone hint cheers farmers

FARMERS GAVE a cautious welcome yesterday to the Government's strongest indication yet that it plans to lift the ban on sales of beef on the bone.

Travel Europe: A bull's eye view

Ronda lies in an Andalucian heartland of white-washed villages and heart-stopping heights.

Letter: Notes on the CJD connection

I CAN help Professor Stanley Prusiner understand why such a small number of people have developed new variant CJD (v-CJD) "while 10 million others with the same environmental history had not" ("Nobel winner challenges CJD link to beef", 7 June). "These people didn't go out and crave cow brains," he says. But we did all swallow infected cow brains, because until November 1989 they were routinely added to meat products. Fortunately only about 30 per cent of people are susceptible to CJD and even they have to swallow a large dose of the agent. Prusiner is also mystified by the vic- tims' youth. The 26 cases of v-CJD are so young because, being children between 1981 and 1989, they were shedding teeth which provided raw areas in their mouths for the agent to enter directly into the blood stream. This shortens the incubation period of CJD.

`I see no investment in the land'

A SHARP decline in Donald Arscott's fortunes in the past two years has cast a dark shadow over his family's future in agriculture, writes Linus Gregoriadis.

Hotelier takes on beef ban in court

A hotelier who allegedly served beef on the bone yesterday went to court to prove that the regulations banning the product were "absurd".

MPs call for BSE funding review

A LABOUR-DOMINATED committee of MPs last night reinforced the message from the countryside march in London by warning the Government against "harsh" treatment for beef farmers and criticised Jack Cunningham, the Agriculture Minister, for failing to produce a long-term plan for the beef industry in the wake of the BSE crisis.

TV Reviews: Scene by Scene with Steve Martin and Mad Cows and Englishmen

The voiceover was a bit on the drab side with its various truisms about the nature of comedy: 'It's a long walk to the microphone and it's one the comedian must do alone.'
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