"I can assure you that any action taken would be proportionate to the risks and based on the latest scientific evidence available"

concludes Mrs Beckett in this recent letter to William Hague about the likely doom of sheep and goats "if research or surveillance results indicated the presence of BSE in sheep"

Since the "latest scientific evidence available" always excludes evidence submitted by any scientist who has the temerity to stray from the line favoured by those "independent government scientists" from the FSA, SEAC and Imperial College, we have little faith in her reassurances. These government scientists it was who gave credance to the policy of mass illegal slaughter of healthy animals.

We note that she says expenditure on TSE research is likely to be £17.3 million this year. That is money for the "independent government scientists" to continue with their "research and surveillance" and a very lucrative activity it is.

Unfortunately neither Margaret Beckett nor Lord Whitty - nor anyone else in the government who parrots the pronouncements of the men in white - seems to have any scientific understanding of the real issues involved.