The Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Inquiry, United Kingdom
“Our experience over this lengthy Inquiry has led us to the firm conclusion that a policy of openness is the correct approach. When responding to public or media demand for advice, the government must resist the temptation of attempting to appear to have all the answers in a situation of uncertainty. We believe that food scares and vaccine scares thrive on the belief that the Government is withholding information. If doubts are openly expressed and publicly explored, the public are capable of responding rationally and are more likely to accept reassurance and advice
if and when it comes.”
This seems to be also pertinent to the Climate Science in general and the UNIPCC in particular.
The BSE Inquiry Report details
The inquiry was set up in 1997 to: establish and review the history and emergence and identification of BSE and variant CJD in the UK and of the action taken in response to it up to March 1996; to reach conclusions on the adequacy of that response; and to report the findings to relevant ministries. The resulting report documents in detail the development of two new diseases, one of cattle that devastated the British cattle industry (more than 170 000 animals affected) and another that has caused the deaths of more than 80 people so far. The report identifies several shortcomings in delayed responses and lack of rigour in implementing measures. Poor coordination between health and agricultural departments and bureaucracy impeded prompt responses. The cause of the epidemic was identified as the inclusion of meat and bone meal in ruminant feed. Despite the banning of specified bovine offals in ruminant feed in 1990, cattle born after this date still contracted the disease, probably through cross contamination of feed with feed destined for non-ruminants. The report makes compelling reading for all those who have followed the epidemic. It is available from The Stationary Office (http://www.thestationeryoffice.com/bse/) in print (#325 for the complete boxed set of 16 volumes [ISBN 0105569860]; or #29.50 for Volume 1: Findings and Conclusions [contains a CD-ROM of the full text of the report; ISBN 0105569704]), on CD-ROM (#235 which includes the full text of the report on Disc 1. Discs 2-12 include all the witness statements, transcripts, SEAC and ACAF documents and other supporting documents; ISBN: 0105569879), or can be freely accessed on the Internet.