The Food Standards Agency is to review BSE measures banning the sale of meat for human consumption from cattle over 30 months old at slaughter. The Over Thirty Month Scheme destroying cattle of that age was introduced in 1996 because the earliest appearance of BSE had been in cattle which were about 32 months old. The FSA's December 2000 BSE controls review recommended the rule be re-examined this year. A risk assessment group made up of members of the FSA and the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee will provide scientific input to the review. The FSA said the group would meet throughout this year, and expects to make recommendations to ministers in early 2003. FSA chairman Sir John Krebs said: "This rule should be maintained for as long as it is needed to protect public health. But it is right to update our assessment and management of risk in light of the latest scientific evidence." The National Farmers' Union welcomed the review, but added that discussions at European level should be included to ensure member states were satisfied. The Meat and Livestock Commission supports the move, but a spokesman cautioned: "Dismantling the OTMS needs to be done in a phased manner ­ if it was withdrawn overnight, it would destroy the market in this country." {{NEWS }}