Letter: BSE inquiry

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The Independent Online
Sir: A public inquiry into the BSE disaster is on the verge of being announced. As the parents of Stephen Churchill, the first and, as yet, youngest death from human BSE (new variant CJD) we take this opportunity to remind those making the decisions that the inquiry must be held by a judge, as it is imperative that it should have the right to subpoena both people and documents, and the judge must have the authority to inquire into any matter that he sees fit, in order to seek the truth about what has happened.

Whilst we are but one family we speak on behalf of all the families touched by this tragedy. Today we grieve for 23 deaths but others are being nursed as we write. To have the right quality of inquiry is essential otherwise we the families, the nation and Europe will only see a lower level of inquiry as being yet another cover-up, perpetuating what went before under the Conservative government.

We as families seek only the truth. We do not wish for a scapegoat from today's administration but for the real guilty parties to be brought to book. In addition we must all learn from the mistakes made so that a tragedy of this magnitude never happens again.

DAVID CHURCHILL

DOROTHY CHURCHILL

Devizes, Wiltshire

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