Released on October 26, this long-awaited report from the UK government on BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) and CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease) is based on oral and written evidence from over 600 witnesses including scientists, farmers, private industry, senior civil servants, local authorities, former ministers and families of victims of variant CJD. Among its most important findings are that government ministers repeatedly misled the public about the dangers of mad cow disease. It also cites poor communication between government departments and bureaucratic delays in responding to scientific warnings. As the party leading the government at the time, the Conservatives, are currently in opposition, the political fallout of the report may develop over time, though a number of leading Tories have alread issued public apologies for their role in the crisis.
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