Letter: Beef crisis: a despicable political ploy

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The Independent Online
Sir: May a British resident abroad write to protest at the long- term damage to British interests being done by politicians in the beef crisis ("John Major does a Margaret Thatcher", 22 May)? Seen from here the crisis is wholly the fault of the British government, which is still giving the public sector borrowing requirement priority over public health. The game which some unscrupulous politicians are playing of trying to stir up racial hatred as a ploy to retain their seats at the next election is despicable.

The repeated assertion that British beef is safe, in the current state of uncertainty about the origin and transmission of the disease CJD is quite unconvincing. Nothing is said about dissenting opinion. Great damage has already been done to the beef industry in Europe by the fear that contaminated beef may be in the food chain. Only a convincing eradication programme carried through by the British government with the help of their continental partners can eliminate rational consumer anxieties here. The suggestion of a conspiracy against Britain is at best paranoid, at worst grossly malicious.


Karnten, Austria