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Government accused of delays in monitoring CJD

20 March 1998
Government accused of delays in monitoring CJD

AN official report nine years ago that called for the urgent monitoring of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) was delayed seven months until the Government sorted out funds for research, the BSE Inquiry heard yesterday.

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Government accused of delays in monitoring CJD

20 March 1998
Government accused of delays in monitoring CJD

AN official report nine years ago that called for the urgent monitoring of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) was delayed seven months until the Government sorted out funds for research, the BSE Inquiry heard yesterday.

Dr David Tyrell, the former director of the Medical Research Councils Common Cold Unit, who was called in by ministers to head a team of scientists, said that large amounts of infective tissues from apparently healthy animals could have been going into the food chain before the ban of offal.

Dr Tyrell accused officials of “fobbing him off” when he asked to know when his committees report setting out research priorities for combating the BSE would be published.

Dr Robert Will, a member of the Tyrell Committee, told the inquiry that there was evidence in 1989 that the human equivalent Creutfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) could be passed from person to person through central nervous system tissues.

He said the ban on bovine offal in November 1989 had been “absolutely critical” to protect the public. This had been found later not to have been rigorously policed.

Further criticisms in delays are expected to come today from Professor George Laming who was asked by the Government in 1991 to review the animal feed industry and its implications for human health.

  • Financial Times 20/03/98 page 11
  • The Times 20/03/98 page 6
  • The Daily Telegraph 20/03/98 page 11

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