Letter: Beef: `meat products' may be infected, but only a few people wi ll ever get CJD

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The Independent Online
Sir: The English Channel is a wonderful thing. In spite of hundreds of thousands of British cattle passing over the Channel over the past ten years, there is apparently no problem with BSE in France and elsewhere. What complete nonsense.

We are now faced with major countries in the EU abandoning the UK to the potential economic catastrophe of mass cattle incineration while hypothetically ignoring the widespread unreported problem in France, Germany and elsewhere.

The difference is that in the UK we fully compensate any farmer for a BSE victim (which is then destroyed) thereby encouraging the farmer to be honest and open. Elsewhere there is no such compensation and hence if a farmer is at all concerned about an animal, his best option is to send it to the abattoir. Under these circumstances, one could argue that British production is safer and that the consumer is better protected with UK products.

Piers Feilden

Martock, Somerset