At the height of the scare for the Mad Cow disease (BSE) in the Great Britain in 1990, the-then Tory agriculture minister John Gummer famously attempted to allay fears about BSE by publicly feeding a burger to his four-year-old daughter, Cordelia. On May 6th, 1990, the press photographed Mr Gummer and his little girl at a boat show in Suffolk eating hamburgers. Although photographs of the event were staged and the burgers–presumably eaten by the duo–were in fact bitten into by a civil servant, Gummer subsequently become the most reviled politician to come out of the entire fiasco.
The first animal to fall ill with the BSE was in 1984 but it was only in November 1986 that the Ministry of Agriculture acknowledged that it was a new strain. In July 1989, the Europeans banned the British beef, but Gummer delayed a ban on beef domestically. These altercations between the Europeans and the Brits reached its height in 1996 when the European Commission announced the worldwide export ban on all British beef and the UK countered it with a policy of non co-operation with EU partners until ban is lifted.
Gummer remained defiant–the inquiry into the BSE crisis later asked him whether he had changed his eating habits during or after the crisis. Gummer replied that if anything he ate more beef because it was cheaper that it used to be.