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EU says Germany, Spain, Italy may have BSE
(Mad Cow Disease)

8/03/2000- According to Reuters report, the European Commission said on Tuesday that European Union scientists have concluded that mad cow disease is probably present in cattle in Germany, Spain, and Italy even though these countries say they are free of it. An EU executive said in a statement that scientists believed that in these member states the risk of mad cow infection in cattle was "likely to be present at levels below the detection limits of their surveillance systems." According to the scientific evidence, gathered by 50 external, independent experts on 23 countries, the only member states that could be regarded as having a BSE risk classified as "unlikely but not excluded" were Austria, Finland, and Sweden. Eight other member states plus Switzerland have all reported cases of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). Greece did not supply the scientists with data. The scientists also looked at non-EU members, focusing on those which export beef products to the 15-nation bloc. They concluded that in Australia, Chile, Norway, New Zealand, Argentina, and Paraguay the risk was highly unlikely, but in the U.S. and Canada, BSE "cannot be excluded." The Commission stressed that geographical BSE risk was not an indicator of the danger to humans of contracting nvCJD via the food chain, but simply a measure of the risk to cattle. The risk to humans depended on other measures, such as the removal of suspect animal tissue.


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