§ Mr. Hinchliffe
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research he(a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into food treatment methods for destroying the infective agent of BSE prior to consumption. 
§ Mrs. Browning
[holding answer 11 December 1995]: The Government's policy on BSE is to ensure that all cattle suspected of suffering from BSE, and specified bovine offals from all cattle which might or might not be incubating the disease, are removed from the human and animal feed chain.
The United Kingdom and European Commission jointly funded an experiment to assess the effectiveness of various rendering systems used within the EU in deactivating the BSE and scrapie agents. The scrapie experiment is still in progress, although the BSE experiment has been completed. It found that some systems failed to inactivate the BSE agent, whereas others did so to a significant extent. The results formed the basis for Commission decision 94/382, which sets standards for rendering ruminant material and prohibits the use of systems which fail significantly to inactivate the BSE agent. These standards are being met by rendering plants in the UK.