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Avoid meat from abroad, warns top CJD expert

December 9, 2001 Scotland on Sunday by Camillo Fracassini
ONE of Britain's leading CJD experts has warned the public that if they want to avoid all risk of contracting the disease they should avoid eating processed foreign meat.

Professor James Ironside, of the National CJD Surveillance Unit, said processed meat which was not clearly labelled as coming from the UK posed a risk of carrying BSE and transmitting vCJD, the human form of mad cow disease.

Ironside now believes that "tens of thousands" of people in Britain could die from the condition, a figure significantly below the hundreds of thousands once feared but above recent estimates of a few hundred. Yesterday, Edinburgh-based Ironside admitted he does not eat processed food containing meat of unknown origin.

"If you are concerned about limiting the risks of exposure to BSE you should avoid processed food unless it is clearly labelled with its country of origin. UK origin would be the one to go for. But as far as I understand it, processed food does not have to carry a label of origin."

Ironside added: " Foreign imports are more dangerous. Inspections have shown that material from Germany with infected spinal cord have come into the country and numbers of BSE infections are increasing in France and Germany."

Last night the National Farmers' Union of Scotland echoed Ironside's concerns.

A spokeswoman said: "Only last week the Food Standards Agency found a consignment of beef carcasses from Belgium which had come into the UK with spinal cord still attached.

"This highlights the fact that we don't have sufficient import controls in this country. We have been calling for country of origin labelling for some time."

The Food Standards Agency Scotland said it had also called for country of origin labelling on food containing processed meat. A spokeswoman said: "We accept that imported processed meat products might carry a slightly higher risk in terms of BSE than fresh beef, although the risk is still very low."


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E-mail: Staff · Activist or Media Inquiries: 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652
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Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.
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