HL Deb 20 June 1996 vol 573 c39WA
The Countess of Mar

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why, in the absence of a scientifically based cause for "sporadic CJD", they appear to accept the proposition of a causal link between the previously unrecognised and consistent disease pattern of CJD found in 10 young patients and exposure to BSE before the bovine offal ban was introduced in 1989, in view of the lack of scientific evidence for such proposition.

Baroness Cumberlege

The Government have always sought the advice from experts in the field of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, notably the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC), and have always followed their advice.

SEAC advised the Government that, although there is no direct evidence of a link, on current data and in the absence of any credible alternative, the most likely explanation at present is that these cases could be linked to exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy before the introduction of the specified bovine offals ban in 1989. The Government acted on SEAC's recommendations to reduce any possible risk to public health.