Sir; The recently released report into the handling of the BSE crisis will no doubt be met with disbelief by your editorial columns. The report castigates the previous Conservative administration. Hogg, Gummer and Dorrell come in for the severest criticism along with a host of senior civil servants and dozens of other ministers for their failings while holding high office. For years these ministerial incompetents denied a problem existed. They failed to act quickly to stop the spread of the disease. They were unable to stop abattoirs infecting the food chain, despite warnings from Trading Standards Officers. They allowed eminent scientists to wrongly believe there was no risk of infection to the human food chain in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Their failures cost lives. CJD was a direct consequence of inaction, greed, self-interest and bad government combined with an industry too short-sighted to recognise the consequences. In short the Tories put the interests and profits of the farming industry before public safety and the net result was that deaths occurred from CJD in humans after BSE infected meat entered the food chain. While Nick Brown may have his faults he has cleansed the industry of its worst practices, returned British beef to European Markets, compensated farmers and supported an industry that deserved to perish from stupidity and greed. The lesson to learn from this costly affair (£4bn and rising) is that political parties solely representing minority self-interested groups are unable to act in the wider public interest. That is why the Tories are struggling in opposition and the longer they stay there the better the farming industries chances of survival. Arthur Dunn Worthing {{LETTERS }}