Global threat

 作者:钮雒昧     |      日期:2019-03-07 08:06:00
By Debora MacKenzie The three biggest international agencies for health and agriculture want all countries to assess their risk of BSE, and to watch for the disease. They called on rich nations to help poor ones evaluate risks and “identify” precautions, but stopped short of calling for help with expensive BSE testing. BSE is likely to have spread worldwide in the animal feed containing meat and bone meal (MBM) exported from affected countries, especially Britain. New Scientist warned in February that disease could have spread globally. Thailand and Indonesia are most at threat, having imported large quantities of MBM, though Indonesia may have re-exported much of this to China. China denies any risk. At a summit meeting in Paris, which ended on Thursday, the World Health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the World Animal Health Organisation declared that “ruminant MBM … should not be fed in any case to ruminant animals”. It is not always clear where imported feed really originated, and low levels of BSE in cattle can escape detection, so the agencies have urged all countries to double-check their risk. They called for better tests to detect undeclared ruminant protein in feed. Countries at risk should also “strongly consider” testing livestock, the agencies recommended. This was how many EU countries discovered they were infected, but it is too expensive for most developing countries. The agencies recommended precautions such as removing brain and spinal cord from sheep and goat meat, in countries where the livestock may have been given suspect feed. They said “research to date” shows pigs and poultry should be safe, without mentioning that research has been limited. But they called on scientists “to communicate new information about BSE and its risks as it becomes available, even though it may be unsettling to the public.” Related stories: Have contaminated feed exports spread BSE across the globe?