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BSE and CJD: Chronology of a crisis
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1990: British beef 'safe'

16 May
Agriculture minister John Selwyn Gummer: "There is no need to be worried"
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In May Chief Medical Officer Sir Donald Acheson issues one of the first assurances that British beef is safe to eat.

Agriculture Minister John Selwyn Gummer appears before the media to eat a hamburger with his daughter Cordelia in an attempt to calm rising panic over British beef.

In September the laboratory transmission of BSE to a pig is announced by researchers.

A government committee advises that there are no implications for human health but, as precaution on animal health, it bans "specified bovine offals" in all animal feed.

New record keeping arrangements requiring cattle farmers to maintain breeding records are also introduced.

BSE cases: 14,407

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