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BSE

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 6:19 pm on 25th June 1996.

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Photo of Mr Nicholas Baker Mr Nicholas Baker , North Dorset 6:19 pm, 25th June 1996

I disagree with some of the lessons that the hon. Gentleman mentioned. He has, however, left out one important lesson that has been learnt, with which I think he would agree because he has observed it himself—the need not to rouse hysteria by violent and wild political pronouncements. He has avoided doing that in a way that the hon. Member for Peckham (Ms Harman) has not. The county council banned beef in school meals, based on no scientific evidence, although it undid the ban six weeks later. The council was Liberal Democrat controlled, of course. The ban created hysteria in Dorset, and it did incredible damage to the beef industry. Will the hon. Gentleman now say that he denounces all such pronouncements, and that that is an important lesson to have learnt?