The Minister for Agriculture has dismissed Labour's proposals for a food safety supremo to handle the BSE crisis.
Deputy Mary Upton had called for a new appointment to oversee government departments and which would see responsibility for beef safety removed from the Department of Agriculture.
However, Minister Walsh derided Deputy Upton's claims as "misinformed". He said that Labour was opposed to the formation of a an independent statutory body on food safety when it was in the Rainbow Coalition.
In any case, the Food Safety Authority operates under the aegis of the Department of Health and is independent of the Department of Agriculture, he added.