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Government’s scientific advice on vCJD to come under scrutiny

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee is seeking views on fears that variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease may be being spread through blood, tissue and organ donation.

The committee has launched an inquiry into the matter after hearing that there is “significant” risk to UK public health in a one-off hearing on 27 November. Members also heard from experts that one in every 2,000 people may be silent carriers of vCJD, the human form of mad cow disease.

“We want to explore whether the government is taking this threat as seriously as it should be,” said committee chairman and Labour MP Andrew Miller, in a statement. “Our new inquiry will investigate these issues in more detail and consider ways in which the UK can protect its vital supply of donated blood, tissues and organs.”

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