Reporter 458, 6 November 2000

Lacey earns tribute

Emeritus Professor Richard Lacey, whose warnings a decade ago that bovine spongiform encephalopathy might be capable of crossing the species barrier were described as ‘alarmist’ by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, (MAFF) has been singled out for praise in the 4,000 page report of the BSE inquiry chaired by Lord Phillips.

Professor Lacey and his colleague, consultant microbiologist Dr Stephen Dealler, were among the first researchers to voice concern at the hazards to human health of eating meat from ruminants which had been fed on ruminant remains.

Professor Lacey, the Phillips report concluded, performed a public service by raising public concerns at the time, even if these were ‘unwelcome to the MAFF’.

Dr Dealler, a Leeds graduate and now based at Burnley General Hospital, recalls in the current Times Higher Education Supplement that Professor Lacey predicted as early as 1989 that attempts would be made to cover up the risk to human health.

Professor Lacey, who made extensive and highly effective use of the mass media to highlight his legitimate concerns, is still extensively quoted in the press (see In the News).

See also below letters published by the Reporter in 1990:

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