Thursday, June 07, 2007

Poisoned pet food

Having lived through the UK BSE in beef scare which essentially destroyed a large part of UK agriculture within a couple of years I find the reaction from regulators to the poisoned pet food scandal incomprehensible.

If company sells a billion dollars of pet food a year its brand is on the line with every tin that leaves the production line.

In the BSE episode the Tories made every effort to avoid enforcing regulations that would put costs on farmers. At every turn they tried to explain the problem as irrelevant, minor. Ministers made categorical statements about the safety of the beef that were clearly false because it was obvious that nobody knew whether the beef was safe or not.

When attempts to avoid regulation failled the new policy was essentially to shoot every cow in the country.

It does not take a great deal to learn from recent history. Why are politicians so incapable of doing so?

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