L.A. Times: Mad Cow Disease and Blood Donors

Monday, June 7, 1999

FDA Urges Ban on Certain Blood Donors

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended Wednesday
that Americans who have visited England for periods of six months or
longer since 1980 should not be permitted to donate blood. The panel
fears that people who ate British beef may have
picked up the prions that cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the
so-called mad cow disease, and could pass it on if they were to donate
blood. If the ban included all such Americans, it would eliminate about
2.2% of all blood collected, according to the American Red Cross.