10 January 2002
Papers predict CJD deaths from lamb

By Adrienne Francis

WARNINGS of the human health threat from an epidemic of BSE disease in sheep, receive extensive coverage in seven national papers.

Scientists estimate that up to 150,000 people could die from Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease if BSE is discovered in sheep.

The Daily Mail says the study suggests BSE has passed from cows to sheep and is spreading freely through flocks.

“Many thousands could die from eating lamb,” it concludes.

The Independent carries the headline: “Thousands of people could die if BSE has jumped to sheep, and no one knows if it has.”

The half-page story, including a picture of two grazing lambs, says the study raises “fresh fears over food safety.”

It says the research demonstrates just how serious the health risks to consumers would be if scientists did detect BSE in sheep.

The Daily Express bears the headline “BSE could kill 150,000 of us”.

Acknowledging that the study was theoretical, it describes the study as the first to examine the “risk posed by lamb.”

The Daily Telegraph says scientists are refusing to rule out an “epidemic” of CJD from sheep.

The risk of contracting the disease could now be much greater from eating lamb then beef, it notes.

The Guardian says estimates of future deaths in Britain from eating infected material vary “wildly from 20 to 150,000.”

The story leads with the headline “Plea for more BSE checks on sheep.”