Study Finds Little Risk of Mad Cow Disease in U.S.; Government Ban on Cattle Parts in Feed Would Break Cycle

November 2001
Ascribe Newswire: Medicine;11/30/2001, p10
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, BSE, or Mad Cow disease has not been detected in the United States. The first major analysis of what would happen if BSE were introduced into the U.S. finds that there is little chance that the disease will be a serious threat either to the American cattle herd or to public health. The work was done for the U.S. Department of Agriculture by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA). HCRA researchers Joshua Cohen and Silvia Kreindel, along with doctoral student Keith Duggard, then constructed a computer model to simulate the course of the disease should one or more sick animals be introduced to the United States herd. They found that, even in the worst case scenarios, the number of additional animals that might become sick would remain small and the amount of contaminated tissue entering the human food supply and carrying the agent suspected of transmitting Mad Cow disease to humans and causing variant Creutzfeld Jacob Disease, would be minute.


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