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Medicine And Books

Mad Cow Disease: The History of BSE in Britain

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 01 July 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:67
  1. R M Ridley

    Richard W Lacey Cypsela Publications, £15.99, pp 200 ISBN 1 899516 00 X

    In Mad Cow Disease Richard Lacey presents his view of two aspects of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)--the science of this intriguing disease and the chronology of the government's response to an unprecedented epidemic.

    Lacey accuses the government of acting slowly, of not spending enough money, of not basing its decisions on science, and, more particularly, of being inconsistent about the relationship between BSE and scrapie. On this last point the government had little alternative but to look to scrapie, a disease of almost identical pathogenesis (but which even Lacey believes offers little risk to humans), while remembering that BSE is new and therefore has the potential (but only the potential) to be different. The government has already spent more than £150 million on disease control and research and its speed of response has been constrained by the …

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