FSA negates bTB risk to humans

A verbal update on meat from bovine tuberculosis (bTB) “reactor” cattle was not given at a Food Standards Agency (FSA) board meeting yesterday.

Catherine Brown’s chief executive report, however, noted that the FSA did not consider bTB a risk to humans consuming “reactor” meat. It said: “This is not a new issue, but one that has gained recent prominence in light of Defra’s planned badger cull and interest around the public health risks from bovine TB.”

The subject surfaced following articles published in the Sunday Times on 30 June and 7 July, which highlighted the fact that meat from “reactor” cattle was knowingly entering the food chain. “The story generated a significant amount of media coverage and queries, which were handled by the press office. Charles Milne gave interviews to various press outlets,” Brown’s report said.

Adding weight to her stance, Brown noted: “The chief medical officer Sally Davis has confirmed she is satisfied that the expert assessment from the FSA’s Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food shows that there is a very low risk from M.bovis in meat.”


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