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Volume 7, Number 1—February 2001

Perspective

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: Background, Evolution, and Current Concerns

Paul Brown*Comments to Author , Robert G. Will†, Raymond Bradley‡, David M. Asher§, and Linda Detwiler¶
Author affiliations: *National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA; †National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland; ‡Central Veterinary Laboratory, New Haw, Addlestone, UK; §Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Maryland, USA; ¶Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA

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Appendix B

B. Measures taken to prevent the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to humans

Precautions Great Britaina European Uniona United States
Compulsory slaughter of BSE-affected cattle Aug 1988
Destroy milk from affected cattle (except for milk fed to cows' own calves) Dec 1988
Ban on import of UK cattle born after July 1988 feed ban Jul 1989
Ban on SBOb for domestic consumption Nov 1989
Ban on export to EUc of SBO and certain other tissues, including lymph nodes, pituitaries, and serum Apr 1990 Apr 1990
Ban on export of live UK cattle (except calves <6 months old) Jun 1990 June 1990
Ban on use of head meat after skull opened Mar 1992
FDA recommends use of BSE/scrapie-free sources for materials used in dietary supplements; request for safety plans Nov 1992
Cell lines used for biologicals should be BSE agent-free May 1993
FDA requests that bovine source materials (except gelatin) used in manufacture of regulated products be restricted to BSE-free countries Dec 1993
Bone-in beef only from farms with no BSE for 6 years; if not BSE-free, must be deboned with visible nervous and lymphatic tissue removed July 1994
FDA requests that bovine-derived materials for animal use or for cosmetics and dietary supplements not be sourced from BSE countries Aug 1994
Thymus and intestines from calves <6 months old made SBO Nov 1994
Import of beef only from UK cattle 1) >30 months, or 2) from herds BSE-free for 6 years, or 3) if not BSE-free, deboned with visible nervous tissue and specified lymph nodes removed July 1995
SBO ban broadened to include whole skull (SBM) Aug 1995
MRMd from bovine vertebral column banned and export prohibited Dec 1995
Removal of lymph nodes and visible nervous tissue from bovine meat >30 months exported to EU Jan 1996
Ban on export of all UK cattle and cattle products except milk Mar 1996
SBMe ban broadened to include entire head (excluding uncontaminated tongue) Mar 1996
Slaughtered cattle >30 months (or certain beef cattle >42 months) ruled unfit for animal or human use (hides excepted) Mar 1996
FDA urges manufacturers of FDA-regulated human products to take steps to assure freedom from BSE agent May 1996
Partial lifting of export ban on tallow and gelatin June 1996
SBM ban broadened to include certain sheep and goat heads, spleens, and spinal cords (SRM) Sep 1996
FDA recommends withdrawal of plasma and plasma products made from pools to which persons who later died of CJD had contributed Dec 1996
CNSf tissues excluded from cosmetic products for use in EU Jan 1997
BSE cohort cattle in UK ordered slaughtered and destroyed Jan 1997
Proposed ban on SRMg in cosmetics for use in EU (effective October 2000) July 1997
SBM controls for cosmetics and medicinal products Mar 1997
FDA request to manufacturers that no bovine gelatin from BSE countries be used in injectable, implantable, or ophthalmic products; and that special precautions be applied to gelatin for oral and topical use Sep/Dec 1997
Ban on marketing cosmetic products containing SRM prepared before April 1, 1998 Mar 1998
Allow export of beef and beef products from cattle >30 months in certified BSE-free herds from Northern Ireland Mar 1998
Importation of all plasma and plasma products for use in UK Aug 1998
FDA limits plasma product withdrawals to pools at risk for contamination by vCJD donors Sep 1998
Slaughter and destruction of offspring born to BSE-affected cattle after July 1996 Jan 1999
FDA guidance to defer blood donors with >6 months cumulative residence in UK during 1980-1996 Nov 1999
Leukodepletion of whole blood donations from UK residents Jul/Nov 1999
Public FDA discussion about possible risk associated with vaccines produced with bovine-derived materials from BSE countries Jul 2000
Withdrawal and destruction of a potentially tainted 1989 lot of polio vaccine from one manufacturer Oct 2000
SRM ban implemented (effective October 2000) Jul 2000
Ban on slaughter techniques that could contaminate cattle carcasses with brain emboli (e.g., pithing or pneumatic stun guns), effective Jan 2001 Jul 2000
All cattle >30 months old must have brain examinations for proteinase-resistant protein (PrP) before entering the food chain (effective Jan-June 2001) Dec 2000

aIn Northern Ireland and Scotland, dates of implementation sometimes differed from those shown for England and Wales; in addition, individual European Union countries often adopted different measures on different dates.
bSBO = Specified bovine offals (brain, spinal cord, thymus, tonsils, spleen, and intestines from cattle >6 months old).
cEU = European Union.
dMRM = mechanically recovered meat.
eSBM = Specified bovine materials (SBO plus entire head, including eyes but excluding tongue).
fCNS = central nervous system.
gSRM = specified risk materials (SBM plus sheep and goat heads and spleens from animals of any age, and spinal cords from animals >1 year old).

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