The worsening of the BSE crisis in recent months prompts us to ask whether this was inevitable or whether the European Commission might have done more to avert it. There's a general impression in the beef sector that the action plan announced by Brussels in December - an EU-wide ban on the use of meat and bone meal in animal feed and the exclusion of cattle carcasses more than 30 months old from the food chain - more or less meets the challenge. But shouldn't this have come years ago?