Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/180/7967
The Blaim Someone Else Report
FOURTEEN-YEAR-old Zoe Jeffries died last week. She was the youngest victim of vCJD, the human equivalent of BSE.
Dave Carr and Andy Ford
85 people have succumbed to vCJD after eating infected meat products. Microbiologist Stephen Dealler has calculated that up to 12 million people could be affected.
But Lord Phillips' report on the BSE disaster, released last week after a two-and-a-half year inquiry, whitewashes the role of former Tory government ministers, civil servants and meat industry bosses. For Phillips, BSE means Blame Someone Else!
These people acted to protect the profits of the livestock and meat trade. None will face criminal charges, yet a single parent who can't afford a TV licence can end up with a prison sentence.
There is no justice in this capitalist system! The trade unions and the wider community must fight to prosecute these guilty men.
The New Labour government said it would ensure food safety by shifting responsibility from the discredited Agriculture Ministry to a new Food Standards Agency (FSA). Now it has been revealed that last month the FSA watchdog relaxed controls put in place during the BSE crisis to allow calf offal to enter the human food chain. Yet only last June Agriculture Minister Nick Brown admitted that BSE could be passed from cow to calf.
Just like the previous Tory government, Labour is so keen to restore the profits of the big agricultural concerns that food safety is being compromised. Clearly the 'independence' of the FSA isn't worth a fig.
Food safety and big business don't mix together any more than rail safety and a privatised rail network does. The whole BSE fiasco is a damning indictment of capitalism
Safety not profit is our watchword. That means bringing agribusiness and the related pharmaceutical, food processing industry and retail industry into public ownership under democratic working-class control and management.
In The Socialist 3 November 2000: