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Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th April 2004.

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Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich East

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the US Department of Agriculture decision to use antibody-based tests for the prion protein that causes BSE; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)

The testing approvals in the USA are currently consistent with those in the EU where all currently approved and potential new surveillance tests are antibody based. It is understandable that the USDA might want to use similar testing to the EU in order to assess BSE prevalence in their cattle population. No specific evaluation of the US approval process is considered necessary.

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