Australian Net Users Alerted To Online Mad Cow Risk

Australian Net Users Alerted To Online Mad Cow Risk

June 4, 2001 Newsbytes by Adam Creed

Internet users should be aware of the types of products that could transmit the human form of "mad cow disease" when shopping online, according to Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council.

At a meeting in Melbourne on Friday, a council committee decided the risk was real enough to caution Internet users who may be thinking of ordering products with animal ingredients from overseas.

The special expert committee on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies said it has seen nutritional supplements that contain raw bovine brain or pituitary, and other glands, for sale on Web sites.

"Consumers need to be aware of the potential risks of contracting variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease associated with some products that are available via the Internet, and which contain or use material of animal origin from overseas in their manufacture, said committee chair Graeme Ryan, in a public statement.

Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is the human form of "mad cow disease."

Ryan advised Australian Internet users to take particular care when ordering products from overseas, and to only use supplements that meet Australian regulatory requirements.

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