HC Deb 27 January 1998 vol 305 c201W
Mr. Kenneth Clarke

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many deaths have been scientifically established to have been caused by the consumption of beef contaminated by BSE. [24706]

Ms Jowell

There is convincing scientific evidence that the agent which causes new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (nvCJD) in humans is the same as that which causes Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in cattle. However, research so far has been unable to shed any light on the mechanism through which patients have contracted the disease.

So far, there have been 23 deaths from nvCJD in the United Kingdom. In 22 of these cases, the diagnosis has been definitely established by the examination of brain tissue.