Following a warning from agricultural scientists that further restrictions on the use of bovine tissues could be necessary to reduce BSE risks, the European Commission is to consider banning the production of mechanically recovered meat from all ruminant bones of cattle of all ages. The EU’s Scientific Steering Committee said earlier this month that cattle born before the meat and bone meal ban (MBM) was properly implemented were “likely to pose a higher risk.” The Commission said that where an MBM ban appeared not to have been effective, “vertebrae should be removed from food and feed.” A firm decision on any new restrictions is expected next month.

By Alan Osborn, correspondent