Government response

Milk from cows testing positive for tuberculosis (TB)

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Defra will examine the report's many recommendations and publish an initial response in the autumn and a full response in the New Year.

The myth: The Guardian reports that milk from cows testing positive for tuberculosis (TB) would be introduced into the human food chain under reforms suggested by government advisers.

The newspaper also claims that more than 200 recommendations from the Farming Regulation Task Force have been put forward with the aim of scrapping legislation to protect wildlife, the environment and human health.

The truth: The members of the Farming Regulation Task Force are not government advisers. The Task Force, which presented Ministers with a report on regulation today, is completely  independent of government. The report clearly states the importance of protecting wildlife, the environment and human health and suggests how high standards can be maintained with less regulation. It’s about reducing red tape, not standards.

One of the recommendations in the independent report is that Defra, the FSA and dairy trade associations should open discussions on whether pasteurised milk from TB-reactor cows could safely enter the food chain. That’s very different from saying that it “would be introduced into the human food chain” as the Guardian claims.

Defra will examine the report’s many recommendations and publish an initial response in the autumn and a full response in the New Year.