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News Release

CountryDateRelease Date


United States


September 29, 2000

Immediate

UK FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY PLANS ACTION ON MILK BUG

--will hold conference of science and industry experts

The agency's goal: to stop a bacterium in milk, which could be linked to Crohn's Disease, from entering the human food chain.


The Food Standards Agency reports: "Recent research commissioned by the Agency has shown that Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (MAP) can survive pasteurisation. And some scientists believe there is a possible, but so far unproven, link between MAP in the food chain and Crohn's Disease in humans."

"This agency's action is a wake-up call for governments and the dairy industry," said Steve Merkel of Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association (PARA), "No longer will the United States government be able to duck this issue. The Food Standards Agency is shining the light of day on a problem that dairy interests and the United States government have -- up to now -- stonewalled by a pattern of denial"

Cheryl Miller, also of PARA, commented, "The UK government is to be commended -- for it has done what the U.S. government has thus far failed to do: Put together a top-notch, experienced scientific research team -- researchers with proven track records in working with this most difiicult of bacteria -- to design and conduct a statistically valid sampling of the retail milk. And, based on the r