The Japanese government's hesitation over the banning of meat and bone meal (MBM) cattle feed has been labelled a "grave policy mistake" by a joint study panel set up by the agriculture and health ministries. Draft findings by the panel declared that the MBM, an animal-based feed suspected to be at the root of the outbreak of BSE in Japan, should have been banned earlier. The draft says that the farm ministry made a mistake in 1990 when it simply made sterilising criteria stricter to control the use of MBM.