The Food Standards Agency has taken the lead in pressing for Europe-wide controls on the safety of beef products against the threat of BSE.

New Europe-wide regulations on specified risk material controls came into force 1 October.

Historically, controls between EU countries have varied as has the incidence of BSE (e.g. in 1999 the UK had a total of 472 BSE cases per million cattle over 24 months, France by comparison had 2.8 cases per per million). In addition, the UK bans the sale of over thirty-month (OTM) meat from other EU countries.

Against this background, and the fact that SEAC have issued no new advice, the FSA has no reason to advise against consumption of legally-sold EU beef.