Cattle could carry BSE agent in
muscles, scientist tells inquiry
CATTLE which have not shown signs of BSE could carry the infective agent in their muscle tissue, a Government adviser told the BSE inquiry yesterday.
John Collinge, of Imperial College School of Medicine, said the muscle tissue of cattle – which is effectively the meat people eat – has in the past always thought to be safe.
He said he was worried about gaps in government research into prion diseases such as BSE in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.
His muscle tissue theory raises the possibility that more people have been exposed to BSE that previously thought.
But he said that there was very little chance of the public still being exposed to BSE today, if any. Cattle over 30 months of age were barred from the food chain two years ago, and average incubation of BSE is thought to be five years.
- Financial Times 05/06/98 page 7
- The Guardian 05/06/98 page 11