News desk RAMON Socías, the government representative, joined in the criticism of the Balearic government's handling of the detection of the illegal antibiotic cloranfenicol found in animals on several farms in Majorca.

He claimed yesterday that the government had not sought the help of Seprona, the Guardia Civil's environmental investigation department, until December 30, one month after the first traces had been found.

He said yesterday that if the government had not wanted Seprona's help, “it is because they were not interested and we should know why.” He alleged that he offered the services of Seprona at the beginning of December, and in view of a negative response and the lack of results, he ordered the Guardia Civil to proceed on December 30. “Curiously, on that same afternoon, the agriculture minister Margalida Moner, asked me for Seprona's help to close the farms suspected of using clenbuterol.” He added “I am ashamed to have a government which is more concerned about defending private interests than the health of citizens.” However, Rosa Estaras, the deputy leader of the government, counteracted the criticisms, claiming that the health and consumer ministry had asked Socias's office “for all the help possible” including that of Seprona, after detecting the presence of cloranfenicol. “No government in the world would reject the help of the Guardia Civil,” she said, claiming that requests for information had gone unanswered.