A LEGAL TEST case is being prepared alleging that the Government has failed to prevent the spread of Crohn‘s disease, the Daily Express reports.

Scientists have found in the gut of sufferers a bacterium (Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis) normally seen only in dairy cattle, and it is alleged that people have been infected after ingesting dairy products.

Experts have blamed intensive farming for the spread of the MAP bacterium in cows.

According to the Express, there are more than 200,000 people with the disease in the UK, and all of them have been shown to have the bug in their gut.

More than hundred sufferers are to launch a joint action against the Government for having failed to prevent the spread of the illness caused by MAP.

The bacterium has been found in more than 5% of milk on shop shelves. The actual figure could be much higher, the Express reports.

Ministers were warned about the bug 10 years ago, and the court case under preparation now is based on the allegation that the Government did not take action over the issue.

The paper states that while 17% of herds are thought to contain infected animals, the real figure may be as high as 50%.

Professor John Hermon Taylor of St George‘s Hospital, London, said that there is growing evidence that MAP is responsible for Crohn‘s disease and that milk from cows was the most logical route of infection.

The disease is incurable and can cause sever pain, diarrhea and other intestinal problems.