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BSE versus Creutzveld-Jacobs-syndrome

Joao Vasconcelos Costa jcosta at pen.gulbenkian.pt
Wed Mar 27 03:05:10 EST 1996


R.C.L. Marteijn wrote:
> 
> Hi All out here,
> 
> Today the veterinary counsel of the European Union has decided on a ban on
> the export of UK-beef, cows, sperm, eggs and embryo's. All this as a
> result of a scientific suggestion/finding of a correletion between BSE and
> a special type of the CJ-disease.
> 
> Since there has been some discusion about BSE (mad-cow-disease) I thought
> you'd like to hear this news...
> 
I think this was a disproportionate measure. In the case of my country,
Portugal, it makes little sense, since BSE is established, although
with still a little number of cases (36 since 1994), and because no
legal measure was taken to remove cow's brains from the food chain. I 
saw brains being sold some days ago in a supermarket.

All the scientific data that I know indicate that muscle is not infec-
tious. I think that the prohibition of consumption of potentiously
dangered tissues (brain, spleen, thymus, and eventually liver), together
with the current prohibition of mammal protein for cattle food and the
reinforcement of some sanitary measures (vg, slaughtering all the
animals in an affected farm) would be adequate to the probably very
low risk of transmission to men.

IMHO, the EC decision has probably much to do with the fear that panic
rises all over Europe, affecting the whole European meat industry.
This exagerated political decision seems to be a way of tranquilizing
people in the other 14 countries, at the cost of the British one. 

-- 
*****   JOAO VASCONCELOS COSTA, MD, PhD
*****   Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia - Oeiras, Portugal
*****   mailto:jcosta at pen.gulbenkian.pt
*****   http://www.pen.gulbenkian.pt/v2/jvc.html



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