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Political barriers are hampering efforts to develop vCJD screening tools, MPs are told

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g2001 (Published 07 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2001
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The work of the biomedical industry to develop tools to screen for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is being hampered by political and scientific barriers, MPs have been told.

Science experts and representatives from biomedical companies appearing before the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on 5 March said that various approaches to detecting vCJD had been and were being tried but that obstacles were slowing this work.

The degenerative brain disease, sometimes called the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), emerged after widespread exposure to BSE prions in the late 1980s and early 1990s through contaminated meat products in the food chain.

Witnesses were quizzed for the committee’s inquiry into blood, tissue, and organ screening. The …

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