Irish consumers have reacted angrily to confirmation of the first case of BSE in an animal born after 1996, when the use of meat and bonemeal in feed, believed to be responsible for spreading the disease, was banned. Irish Consumers' Association spokesman Peter Dargan, accused the Department of Agriculture of "extreme incompetence", claiming it had failed to enforce the ban effectively. The Irish Labour Party spokeswoman on food safety and consumer affairs, Dr Mary Upton, went further, declaring that she had "lost confidence" in the Department. "It led the way in reassuring consumers that all beef from post-1996 animals was completely safe," she said. Both the Department and the Food Safety Authority sought to reassure the public, claiming there was no health danger as all risk material was removed before animals entered the food chain. {{NEWS }}