- LONDON (Reuters) - British
inspectors have discovered that some beef imported from Poland breached
rules designed to fight the spread of "mad cow" disease, officials
said on Thursday.
- The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said two batches of beef
from cutting plants in Poland had spinal cord attached--parts of the carcass
most likely to carry mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy
- Britain has discovered 26 consignments of potentially
risky beef from other countries in the European Union since January 1,
2001. The Polish cases were the first from a country outside the European
Union, the agency said.
- The EU, hit by an increasing number of BSE cases, has
agreed to remove certain cattle parts--called specified risk material (SRM)--from
beef. It also began to test older cattle for the disease.
- "Any find of SRM is illegal and a serious matter.
There is no risk to public health, as the affected meat has been removed
from the food chain," FSA veterinary director Debby Reynolds said.
- Britain, which first detected BSE in herds in 1986, has
been blamed for exporting the disease and triggering consumer panic in
other European countries over the spread of the disorder and its deadly
human form, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).
- More than 100 people, mostly in Britain, have died or
are believed to be suffering from vCJD, which is thought to be caused by
eating contaminated meat products.
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